Authors / Writers

57 Jhumpa Lahiri Quotes on Life & Writing (BOOKS)

Top 10 Most Famous Jhumpa Lahiri Quotes (BEST)

“While the astronauts, heroes forever, spent mere hours on the moon, I have remained in this new world for nearly thirty years. I know that my achievement is quite ordinary. I am not the only man to seek his fortune far from home, and certainly I am not the first. Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
Pack a pillow and blanket and see as much of the world as you can. You will not regret it.
Pack a pillow and blanket and see as much of the world as you can. You will not regret it.
Isolation offered its own form of companionship.
Isolation offered its own form of companionship.

“You are still young, free… Do yourself a favor. Before it’s too late, without thinking too much about it first, pack a pillow and a blanket and see as much of the world as you can. You will not regret it. One day it will be too late.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
'My grandfather says that's what books are for,' Ashoke said, using the opportunity to open the volume in his hands. 'to travel without moving an inch.'
‘My grandfather says that’s what books are for,’ Ashoke said, using the opportunity to open the volume in his hands. ‘to travel without moving an inch.’
Fiction is the only way I know a human being can inhabit the mind of another human being.
Fiction is the only way I know a human being can inhabit the mind of another human being.
I am drawn to any story that makes me want to read from one sentence to the next. I have no other criterion.
I am drawn to any story that makes me want to read from one sentence to the next. I have no other criterion.

“Pet names are a persistant remnant of childhood, a reminder that life is not always so serious, so formal, so complicated. They are a reminder, too, that one is not all things to all people.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
We are all humans and we all make mistakes. We hurt people even if we don't want to.
We are all humans and we all make mistakes. We hurt people even if we don’t want to.
Remember that you and I made this journey together to a place where there was nowhere left to go.
Remember that you and I made this journey together to a place where there was nowhere left to go.

15 Inspirational Jhumpa Lahiri Quotes About Writing & Fiction

“The first sentence of a book is a handshake, perhaps an embrace. Style and personality are irrelevant. They can be formal or casual. They can be tall or short or fat or thin. They can obey the rules or break them. But they need to contain a charge. A live current, which shocks and illuminates.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
It took me a long time to even dare to envision myself as a writer. I was very uncertain and hesitant and afraid to pursue a creative life.
It took me a long time to even dare to envision myself as a writer. I was very uncertain and hesitant and afraid to pursue a creative life.
Writing is so humbling; there's no confidence involved.
Writing is so humbling; there’s no confidence involved.
Writing is one of the most assertive things a person can do.
Writing is one of the most assertive things a person can do.
Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying 'Listen to me'.
Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying ‘Listen to me’.
Why do I write? To investigate the mystery of existence. To tolerate myself. To get closer to everything that is outside of me.
Why do I write? To investigate the mystery of existence. To tolerate myself. To get closer to everything that is outside of me.

“It was not in my nature to be an assertive person. I was used to looking to others for guidance, for influence, sometimes for the most basic cues of life. And yet writing stories is one of the most assertive things a person can do. Fiction is an act of willfulness, a deliberate effort to reconceive, to rearrange, to reconstitute nothing short of reality itself. Even among the most reluctant and doubtful of writers, this willfulness must emerge. Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying, ‘Listen to me.'”

Jhumpa Lahiri
I approach writing stories as a recorder. I think of my role as some kind of reporting device - recording and projecting.
I approach writing stories as a recorder. I think of my role as some kind of reporting device – recording and projecting.
On the technical side, I hope that my writing is evolving and maturing, ripening, deepening.
On the technical side, I hope that my writing is evolving and maturing, ripening, deepening.

“In fiction, plenty do the job of conveying information, rousing suspense, painting characters, enabling them to speak. But only certain sentences breathe and shift about, like live matter in soil.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
I think each time you start a story or novel or whatever, you are absolutely at the bottom of the ladder all over again. It doesn't matter what you've done before.
I think each time you start a story or novel or whatever, you are absolutely at the bottom of the ladder all over again. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done before.
I love reading poetry, and yet, at this point, the thought of writing a poem, to me, is tantamount to figuring out a trigonometry question.
I love reading poetry, and yet, at this point, the thought of writing a poem, to me, is tantamount to figuring out a trigonometry question.

“I’ve gained a lot from James Joyce, Tolstoy, Chekhov and R. K. Narayan. While writing, I try to see if the story is going to radiate spokes. Their literature has always done that and gifted me beautiful things.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
When I sit down to write, I don't think about writing about an idea or a given message. I just try to write a story which is hard enough.
When I sit down to write, I don’t think about writing about an idea or a given message. I just try to write a story which is hard enough.
I would not send a first story anywhere. I would give myself time to write a number of stories.
I would not send a first story anywhere. I would give myself time to write a number of stories.

2 Jhumpa Lahiri Quotes on the Characters in Her Stories

Many of my characters struggle with loneliness, that is fair to say.
Many of my characters struggle with loneliness, that is fair to say.
It interests me to imagine characters shifting from one situation and one location to another for whatever the circumstances may be.
It interests me to imagine characters shifting from one situation and one location to another for whatever the circumstances may be.

12 Motivational Jhumpa Lahiri Quotes About Life

“They were things for which it was impossible to prepare but which one spent a lifetime looking back at, trying to accept, interpret, comprehend. Things that should never have happened, that seemed out of place and wrong, these were what prevailed, what endured, in the end.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
Language, identity, place, home these are all of a piece - just different elements of belonging and not-belonging.
Language, identity, place, home: these are all of a piece – just different elements of belonging and not-belonging.
My responsibility isn't to paint a flattering portrait; my responsibility is to paint a real portrait, a true portrait.
My responsibility isn’t to paint a flattering portrait; my responsibility is to paint a real portrait, a true portrait.

“Isolation offered its own form of companionship: the reliable silence of her rooms, the steadfast tranquility of the evenings. The promise that she would find things where she put them, that there would be no interruption, no surprise. It greeted her at the end of each day and lay still with her at night.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
In a world of diminishing mystery, the unknown persists.
In a world of diminishing mystery, the unknown persists.
The more I feel imperfect, the more I feel alive.
The more I feel imperfect, the more I feel alive.

“Most people trusted in the future, assuming that their preferred version of it would unfold. Blindly planning for it, envisioning things that weren’t the case. This was the working of the will. This was what gave the world purpose and direction. Not what was there but what was not.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
A bicultural upbringing is a rich but imperfect thing.
A bicultural upbringing is a rich but imperfect thing.
Do what I will never do.
Do what I will never do.

“I had been learning Italian for years. I always loved Latin, but Italian is a living language; I’m writing in it now as well as reading it. It is so interesting delving further into language.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
She has the gift of accepting her life.
She has the gift of accepting her life.

“I’ve never had Internet access. Actually, I have looked at things on other people’s computers as a bystander. A few times in my life I’ve opened email accounts, twice actually, but it’s something I don’t want in my life right now.”

Jhumpa Lahiri

4 Wise Jhumpa Lahiri Quotes About Books and Reading

“It is a magical thing for a handful of words, artfully arranged, to stop time. To conjure a place, a person, a situation, in all its specificity and dimensions. To affect us and alter us, as profoundly as real people and things do.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
That's the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.
That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.

“Immersing myself in Shakespeare‘s plays, reading them closely under the guidance of a brilliant, plain-spoken professor changed my life: It opened up the great questions; it put my petty problems into perspective. It got me out of bed in the mornings and kept me in the library late into the night.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
The first sentence of a book is a handshake, perhaps an embrace.
The first sentence of a book is a handshake, perhaps an embrace.

5 Jhumpa Lahiri Quotes on Her Memories

“He owned an expensive camera that required thought before you pressed the shutter, and I quickly became his favorite subject, round-faced, missing teeth, my thick bangs in need of a trim. They are still the pictures of myself I like best, for they convey that confidence of youth I no longer possess, especially in front of a camera.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
A lot of my upbringing was about denying or fretting or evading.
A lot of my upbringing was about denying or fretting or evading.

“My parents had an arranged marriage, as did so many other people when I was growing up. My father came and had a life in the United States one way and my mother had a different one, and I was very aware of those things. I continue to wonder about it, and I will continue to write about it.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
One hand, five homes. A lifetime in a fist.
One hand, five homes. A lifetime in a fist.
A lot of my personality was informed by feeling very different in the world I grew up in, feeling that I didn't fully belong, that my parents didn't belong.
A lot of my personality was informed by feeling very different in the world I grew up in, feeling that I didn’t fully belong, that my parents didn’t belong.

5 Jhumpa Lahiri Quotes About Love

“And yet he had loved her. A Bookish girl heedless of her beauty, unconscious of her effect. She’d been prepared to live her life alone but from the moment he’d known her he’d needed her.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
Sexy means loving someone you do not know.
Sexy means loving someone you do not know.
Relationships do not preclude issues of morality.
Relationships do not preclude issues of morality.
You remind me of everything that followed.
You remind me of everything that followed.
That the last two letters in her name were the first two in his, a silly thing he never mentioned to her but caused him to believe that they were bound together.
That the last two letters in her name were the first two in his, a silly thing he never mentioned to her but caused him to believe that they were bound together.

4 Jhumpa Lahiri Quotes that will Make You Think

“And yet she could not forgive herself. Even as an adult, she wished only that she could go back and change things: the ungainly things she’d worn, the insecurity she’d felt, all the innocent mistakes she made.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
The essential dilemma of my life is between my deep desire to belong and my suspicion of belonging.
The essential dilemma of my life is between my deep desire to belong and my suspicion of belonging.

“It didn’t matter that I wore clothes from Sears; I was still different. I looked different. My name was different. I wanted to pull away from the things that marked my parents as being different.”

Jhumpa Lahiri
Somehow, bad news, however ridden with static, however filled with echoes, always manages to be conveyed.
Somehow, bad news, however ridden with static, however filled with echoes, always manages to be conveyed.

(MUST READ) The Namesake: A Novel

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