Considered by critics one of the most influential writers on the contemporary scene, Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London to Bengali parents and lives in New York, where she majored in various humanities at Boston University. She made her debut in fiction in 1999 and won the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Hemingway Award for the short story collection Interpreter of Maladies, which investigates with a sharp and incisive style the difficulties that Indian immigrants encounter with Western values in North American society. The contradictions in the process of cultural integration are also the recurring themes of her later works: the first novel The namesake (2003), that Mira Nair (the film director) in 2007 transposed to the big screen; the story collection Unaccustomed Earth (2008), which won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and the Asian American Literary Award. The lowland (2013), finalist for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, is, on the other hand, a historical novel set in Calcutta in the troubled years of Indian independence. Passionate about the Italian language, between 2012-2014 Lahiri moved to Rome with her family and in 2015 published In altre parole, a selection of short stories written in Italian for the magazine Internazionale, which won the Viareggio-Rèpaci Literary Prize. Lahiri has been appointed by President Obama a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.