"For much of my life, I wanted to be other people; here was the central dilemma, the reason, I believe, for my creative stasis. I was always falling short of people's expectations: my immigrants parents', my Indian relatives', my American peers', above all my own. The writer in me wanted to edit myself. If only there was a little more this, a little less that, depending on the circumstance: then the asterisk that accompanied me would be removed. My upbringing, an amalgam of two hemispheres, was heterodox and complicated; I wanted it to be conventional and contained. I wanted to be anonymous and ordinary, to look like other people, to behave as others did. To anticipate an alternative future, having sprung from a different past. This had been the lure of acting—the comfort of erasing my indentity and adopting another."
- Jhumpa Lahiri, "Trading Stories" (in current issue of the New Yorker)