Interpreter of Maladies: The Third and Final Continent
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As a first-time immigrant to the UK as a student, I also went through some of what the protagonist did -- starting with the dorm experience to the old landlady (mine was a white-haired, Scottish Mrs Millar in her 70s and I lived with her for 3 whole years).
To me, Mrs Croft, despite all her weirdness and otherness, brought out the kinder/considerate aspects of the protagonist's own nature. And that probably helped him with his new marriage, eventually. I say this from personal experience -- moving to a new country for the first time under difficult circumstances can harden a person, make them put their defenses up, withdraw, etc. But, meeting and living with an individual who makes you see your new world differently can change that.
I read in a few places that, while the protagonist is not exactly Lahiri's father, the story is similar to his own. I wonder whether that is the reason I found more tenderness and less distance in this story than I found in the others. This might just be my own cognitive bias but I felt that even before I learned of his fact. But, for example, this, I loved and totally identified with: "Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination."