Souls who plant the concepts of History and gist of literature in the minds of people; souls who let humans experience the experience other humans undergo; souls who through their pens scribble the memory of millions, those are the souls to get an accolade of Humanities medal. And 2014 National Medal Of Arts And Humanities was perhaps destined to Indo-American author Jhumpa Lahiri and 20 such-likes at white house ceremony on Thursday.
“I always do good with writers and scientists. Those are my crew,” said the president Barack Obama during his address.
“The men and women that we honour today, recipients of the National Medals for the Arts and the Humanities, are here not only because they’ve shared rare truths, often about their own experience, but because they’ve told rare truths about the common experiences that we have as Americans and as human beings,” Obama said.
“The 2014 National Humanities Medal to Jhumpa Lahiri for enlarging the human story. In her works of fiction, Dr. Lahiri has illuminated the Indian American experience in beautifully wrought narratives of estrangement and belonging,” read the aide as Lahiri received the award amid applause.
Lahiri’s novel “The Lowland” is one of the books that accompanied Obama during his holidays in Martha’s Vineyard. This novel sketches a story about two brothers who were born and brought up in Calcutta in 1960s. After one of them demises, the other ties knot to the pregnant widow and settle in the US. The New York Times calls the premise of this novel “startlingly operatic”.
By Prerna Daga