The National Portrait Gallery is open to the public Wed - Sun, with timed-entry passes required for all visitors. On-site tours and events are currently suspended and all public programs will be online
In recalling her father’s warning that a writing life was not a secure one, Jhumpa Lahiri wrote, “I listen to him, and at the same time I have learned not to listen, to wander to the edge of the precipice and leap.” Her first book, Interpreter of Maladies, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000. As a child growing up in Rhode Island, Lahiri remembers the important role that books and stories played in her visual and psychic landscape. Her father, a librarian and later a professor, filled the house with books. Her grandfather’s vibrant storytelling on her first visit to India contributed to a passion for reading. Later, novels became a way of “trespassing” on the American culture that was foreign to her immigrant parents.
Artist Raymond Elman chose to portray Lahiri in by the sea in Cape Cod, a setting that he describes as “universal.”