Jhumpa Lahiri on more than one voice

I love hearing writers talk about writing, so I was excited to learn that today NPR was running interview with Jhumpa Lahiri. In the interview, she talks about her new book, In Other Words, which she wrote in Italian.

In the interview, she talks about writing in another language (one kind of voice). When asks why she would trade her previous (and successful) voice for a new one, she replies:

“Well, I’ve always been searching to arrive at a certain voice that will probably elude me forever; in fact, it will. So it’s the search for that voice, that for me, drives the whole thing forward.”

I appreciated that answer, because the interviewer seemed to question why she didn’t do the same thing over and over again.

About the voice, she goes on to say:

“I just want it to be true, and I want it to be strong, and I want it to be pure. But these are lofty ideals, and language is a very messy thing; it’s a very complicated thing. And that’s why I say that that voice is an illusion, it’s an ideal that I’m moving toward. You know, the closer you get, the farther away it gets. But I think, isn’t that the point of creativity, to keep searching?”

Indeed. You can read more excerpts or listen to the full interview with Jhumpa Lahiri on npr.org.