A Temporary Matter Criticism

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Interpreter of Maladies, the collection in which "A Temporary Matter" appears, won widespread praise from American critics when it appeared. Besides the nearly universal approval bestowed on the book, the most remarkable feature of the criticism is that nearly every reviewer compared Lahiri to one or more literary predecessors and no two reviewers seem to have linked her with the same writers.

New York Times Book Review critic Caleb Crain declares that "Samuel Richardson's latest heir is Jhumpa Lahiri," a reference toRichardson's eighteenth-century novel Pamela in which a household servant is the unwilling object of a wealthy young man's lust. The connection between Lahiri and Richardson is not obvious to all, but Crain also compares Lahiri to Raymond Carver and Ernest Hemingway. "There is nothing accidental about her success," Crain concludes, "her plots are as elegantly constructed as a fine proof in mathematics."

Writing in the San Francisco...

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A Temporary Matter from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.