The New York Times published a short interview with the great Jhumpa Lahiri last week that is very much worth your time. Lahiri bristles at the too-simplistic framing of the questions, and the review gets a little antagonistic. Take, for instance, this bit about immigrant fiction:
What immigrant fiction has been the most important to you, both personally and as an inspiration for your own writing?
I don’t know what to make of the term “immigrant fiction.” Writers have always tended to write about the worlds they come from. And it just so happens that many writers originate from different parts of the world than the ones they end up living in, either by choice or by necessity or by circumstance, and therefore, write about those experiences. If certain books are to be termed immigrant fiction, what do we call the rest? Native fiction? Puritan fiction? This distinction doesn’t agree with me. Given the history of the United States, all American fiction could be classified as immigrant fiction.