Jhumpa Lahiri Roman Stories

Sunday, October 22 from 2:00pm to 3:15pm

Join us for an afternoon with Jhumpa Lahiri, in conversation with Kiki Petrosino at the Paramount Theater.

This event will be held at the Paramount Theater (215 E Main St). Tickets are now on sale at theparamount.net

Join us for an afternoon with Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, who will speak about her new collection of short stories, Roman Stories. Jhumpa Lahiri will be in conversation with author Kiki Petrosino for the event. Each ticket for this event will include a copy of Roman Stories (a $27.00 value). Attendees will be able to pick up their book(s) before and after the event in the lobby of the Paramount. Copies of Jhumpa Lahiri’s previous books will also be for sale.

About the Book: Rome—metropolis and monument, suspended between past and future, multifaceted and metaphysical—is the protagonist, not the setting, of these nine stories: the first short story collection from Jhumpa Lahiri since her number one New York Times bestseller Unaccustomed Earth, and a major literary event.

In “The Boundary,” one family vacations in the Roman countryside, though we see their lives through the eyes of the caretaker’s daughter, who nurses a wound from her family’s immigrant past. In “P’s Parties,” a Roman couple, now empty nesters, finds comfort and community with foreigners at their friend’s yearly birthday gathering—until the husband crosses a line. And in “The Steps,” on a public staircase that connects two neighborhoods and the residents who climb up and down it, we see Italy’s capital in all of its social and cultural variegations, filled with the tensions of a changing city: visibility and invisibility, random acts of aggression, the challenge of straddling worlds and cultures, and the meaning of home.

These are splendid, searching stories, written in Jhumpa Lahiri’s adopted language of Italian and seamlessly translated by the author and by Knopf editor Todd Portnowitz. These stories are steeped in the moods of Italian master Alberto Moravia and guided, in the concluding tale, by the ineluctable ghost of Dante Alighieri, whose words lead the protagonist toward a new way of life.


About the Author: Jhumpa Lahiri, a bilingual writer and translator, is the Millicent C. McIntosh Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Barnard College (Columbia University). She received the Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for Interpreter of Maladies, her debut story collection. She is also the author of The Namesake, Unaccustomed Earth, and The Lowland, which was a finalist for both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award in fiction. Since 2015, Lahiri has been writing fiction, essays, and poetry in Italian: In Altre Parole (In Other Words), Il Vestito dei libri (The Clothing of Books), Dove mi trovo (self-translated as Whereabouts), Il quaderno di Nerina, and Racconti romani. She has translated three novels by Domenico Starnone and is the editor of The Penguin Classics Book of Italian Short Stories, which was published in Italy as Racconti Italiani. Lahiri received the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama in 2014, and in 2019 she was named Commendatore of the Italian Republic by President Sergio Mattarella. Her most recent book in English is a collection of essays entitled Translating Myself and Others, published in the spring of 2022 by Princeton University Press.

About the Moderator: Kiki Petrosino is the author of White Blood: a Lyric of Virginia (2020) and three other poetry books, all from Sarabande. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her memoir, Bright, was released from Sarabande in 2022. She directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of Virginia, where she is a professor of poetry. Petrosino is the recipient of a MacDowell artist residency, a Pushcart Prize, a Fellowship in Creative Writing from the National Endowment for the Arts, the UNT Rilke Prize, and the Spalding Prize, among other honors.

This event will take place at the Paramount Theater, which is located at 215 E Main St, Charlottesville, VA, 22902. 


Jhumpa Lahiri Photo Credit: Elena Seibert