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Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri
Usage Conditions Apply
Alternate Title
"Rock in the Wind" Jhumpa Lahiri
Raymond Elman, born 1945
Jhumpa Lahiri, born 11 Jul 1967
Mixed Media
Photograph enhanced with oil pigment on paper adhered to canvas
Stretcher: 101.6 × 152.4cm (40 × 60")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the artist
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
© Raymond Elman
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born London, England
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.”
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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