Jhumpa Lahiri won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for her debut short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies (1999). She is the author, also, of a further story collection, Unaccustomed Earth (2008), as well as the novels The Namesake (2003) and The Lowland (2013). She lives in Rome, and in 2018 published her first novel in Italian, Dove mi trovo. (April 2019)

NYR DAILY

The Creative Clamor of Igiaba Scego’s ‘Beyond Babylon’

Detail from a painting by Daniela Melli from a show of street art at the Palazzo Velli entitled “Exit—Migrate in the Arts,” Rome, Italy, January 2019

There is no better time than now to bring this novel into English. Now, when women’s voices are being heard in a new way, when the silence surrounding sexual abuse is being shattered, articulated, exposed. Now, when the question of Italy’s identity in relation to the rest of Europe is increasingly in peril because of growing populism, growing xenophobia, and racially motivated crimes. Now, when those in power in Italy call to keep out foreigners and close its borders—an attitude unfortunately mirrored in other parts of the word—is the moment to read Beyond Babylon, a book that insists on all that is open and flowing, coalescent and coexistent.