] that became an instant bestseller, and was transformed by filmmaker Mira Nair into a critically acclaimed film.
Just when you thought the bar had been raised as high as humanly possible, Jhumpa Lahiri went one better. In 2008, she published her second short story collection, Unaccustomed Earth, a book that dramatically demonstrated how well the author combined literary excellence with commercial clout, when in unprecedented fashion it debuted at the number one position on The New York Times Bestseller List.
For the rare skill she harnesses to distill the hyphenated life of the immigrant and render it in crystal prose, India Abroad honoured Jhumpa Lahiri -- born Nilanjana Sudeshna -- with the Publisher's Special Award for Excellence.
And finally, to put a final seal of excellence on a vintage year for community achievement, Fareed Zakaria strode on stage to accept the 2008 India Abroad Person of the Year Award with a speech of characteristic eloquence.
Video: Jhumpa Lahiri gets the India Abroad Publishers Special Award for Excellence