Jhumpa Lahiri, mountain literature and revamping the classics pulp fiction style

Jhumpa Lahiri was awarded the Pulitzer prize for her first book, Interpreter of Maladies, which subsequently became a bestseller. Now 13 years later, her second novel is Booker nominated. A family saga of sorts, The Lowland explores an event in Indian history, the Naxalite movement, a peasant rebellion which was inspired by Communist China and began in the village of Naxalbari in 1967. Following the fortunes of two brothers Subhash and Udayan, the novel traces the legacy of a doomed young man's idealism on those he leaves in his wake. The story is set between Calcutta, where Jhumpa's family hail from and Rhode Island, where she was subsequently raised.

Mountains are an enduring lure for even the least adventurous of climbers - as the queues to reach the top of Mount Snowdon can attest. Conjuring up the magic of mountains continues to exert a powerful hold over the imaginations of writers, as revealed in the newly-announced shortlist for the Boardman Tasker Prize, now in its 30th year. Simon Bainbridge, Professor of Romantic Studies at Lancaster University, and journalist and mountaineering historian Audrey Salkeld discuss the literary opportunities for readers wanting an armchair experience of the world's high places.

From lofty mountains to desert islands, spooky attics and misty moors, the settings for some of our much loved literary classics. A number of them have now been given an intriguing face lift, with new covers worthy of any B movie posters from the 1950s. Publisher Ian Mills, the man behind this revamped look of our old favourites, explains why he went for the pulp fiction treatment.

Producer: Andrea Kidd.

Release date:

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28 minutes

Last on

Thu 12 Sep 2013 15:30


Role Contributor
PresenterMariella Frostrup
Interviewed GuestJhumpa Lahiri
Interviewed GuestSimon Bainbridge
Interviewed GuestAudrey Salkeld
Interviewed GuestIan Mills
ProducerAndrea Kidd

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