Apparently Jhumpa Lahiri…

Apparently Jhumpa Lahiri has been appointed to the President's Council on the Arts and Humanities. And I know she has a Pulitzer (along with a host of other major prizes) and I don't. I do know that. I even like some of her stories and teach them sometimes. If you haven't read "A Temporary Matter," you should. It's very good. I'm looking forward to reading the new collection, Unaccustomed Earth, which I hear is excellent. So, okay, I understand why they called her.

But you know, I created an entire nonprofit foundation to support South Asian and diaspora literature, with chapters in several American states, plus Canada and England, and a mailing list of over a thousand people. I've put on three solid arts festivals. I teach Asian American literature. The Chicago Foundation for Women gave me an award last year for "Breaking Barriers for Asian American Women."

Maybe the White House could have given me a courtesy call, at least?

I would have really loved that job.

(And did I have a moment of bitter resentment that I chose to have two children in the last four years, instead of completing another book or two, and perhaps winning a major prize of my own? Why yes, yes I did. Damned biological clock. If I hadn't been in my late thirties, I would have written another book or two first.)

6 thoughts on “Apparently Jhumpa Lahiri…”

  1. You’re missing Jhumpa Lahiri’s key qualification for something like this: her book became a feature movie. I bet you could shape some of your stories into a sellable movie too.

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Yes! If I hadn’t had children, surely I would have made a movie by now!

    It’s possible, but sadly, not guaranteed. So I don’t think I can really blame the children for everything. Doesn’t mean I won’t try, though.

  3. No worries.. she has almost exactly 4 years on you, so you’ll be in her spot for the next administration. 🙂

  4. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Aww…v. sweet. I choose to believe that you’re right. Although the odds of the next administration being one that even has a Council on the Arts…

  5. Ms. Lahiri had her children in her late thirties as well, you know.

    Don’t blame your children for your own choices. You don’t know what you would have done without them. You do know what you’ve done before them and with them.

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