Jhumpa Lahiri, besides being gorgeous, is a marvelous and sensitive writer. My favorite of her books is The Namesake (I know, Jacinda Barrett, don't hold it against her). Probably because I like novels - I get sad when stories end. Unaccostumed Earth is beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable. Interpreter of Maladies is great too. Oh what the hell, I love Jhumpa.
Lahiri writes simple prose that conveys a detailed setting and personable characters. I suppose it is important that she writes about Indian immigrants. More importantly, she writes about loss - of cultural identity, of loved ones. There is no doom in her stories - even with the melancholy yearning for a homecoming that can never be because when one sets sail no home will ever again be able to claim us. Lahiri writes about people, with an understanding of their complexity, their love, and acceptance of the limitations that life imposes. I like these books. I wish I hadn't read them so I could read them new again.