The final key moment was when, suddenly, I was able to write the novel without feeling as though I needed the crutch of all the research and all of the books, and I felt that the characters were strong enough and their motivations had become more or less solid for me and satisfying for me to just go deeper with them, knowing that this was part of who they were and part of their world.

After being nominated a finalist of this year’s National Book Award, Jhumpa Lahiri chatted with New Yorker’s Cressida Leyshon about her shortlisted novel “The Lowland”

In the New YorkerLahiri talks about her characters and plot development, her year spent in Italy, and the differences between Calcutta and Rhode Island.

Guia Cortassa was born, lives, and works in Milan, Italy. After working as a Contemporary Art curator, she went back to writing. She is a contributing editor for Ondarock and her writing has appeared on Rivista Studio, Flair and the Quietus. She compulsively tweets @gcmorvern. More from this author →