U.S. President Barack Obama will award Indian-American Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, the 2014 National Humanities Medal, which honors those who have widened the public’s engagement with literature and “deepened the nation’s understanding of the human experience.”
Writer Jhumpa Lahiri will be presented the prestigious Medal by US President Barack Obama next week. Jhumpa, 48, has been selected for the award for enlarging the human story, the White House said yesterday.
“In her works of fiction, Lahiri has illuminated the Indian-American experience in beautifully wrought narratives of estrangement and belonging,” the White House said in a statement.
The citation that the President will read at next week’s presentation ceremony, which will be attended by the First Lady as well, will commend Ms. Lahiri for “enlarging the human story,” noting, “In her works of fiction, Dr. Lahiri has illuminated the Indian-American experience in beautifully wrought narratives of estrangement and belonging.”
Ms. Lahiri’s novel, whose premise was described by The New York Times as “startlingly operatic,” is a tale of two brothers growing up in Calcutta in the 1960s, of whom one is killed, and the other marries his pregnant widow and moves to the U.S.
Along with Ms. Lahiri, others honoured by the White House include actress Sally Field and author Stephen King.
Among other awardees include historians, writers, a philosopher, scholar, preservationist, food activist and an education course.