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The namesake
Jhumpa Lahiri
Adult Fiction LAHIRI

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What other readers are saying about this title:
budley said:
I love her writing. I've read her first book of short stories Interpreter of Maladies and enjoyed it as well. For me her words just roll off the page beautifully. It's a pleasure to read. I keep checking periodically to see if she has a new book. I certainly hope she continues to write.
posted Feb 24, 2007 at 8:23PM
Jen M said:
I too really enjoyed this book. I don’t know much about Indian culture but my husband is from another country and much of what she describes about the family in this book holds true for other immigrant populations as well.
posted Jun 11, 2007 at 8:14PM
Aggie said:
I listened to this book, writing was excellent, reader added a lot of depth and character, story is one of the best I’ve read on intercultural experiences. In some ways it reminded me of the Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Fadiman. I too look forward to more of Lahiri’s writing
posted Jul 20, 2008 at 6:20PM
Avatar for noendmom noendmom said:
I have read both of her collections of short stories and this, her novel. Her narratives are very descriptive and her language is precise. She paints wonderful pictures of a life that is a different culture than my own. I await more from this author.
posted May 12, 2011 at 7:10PM
Avatar for Marsap Marsap said:
The Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their traditional life in Calcutta through their and their children’s (specifically their son Gogol) transformation into Americans. The novel moves back and forth from the perspective of the parents to those of the son. On the heels of their arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him relies on Indian tradition, with Ashoke and Ashima waiting for a name to be chosen by her mother who is still back in India. When the name doesn't arrive, the two new parents quickly choose the name Gogol, in tribute to one of Ashoke's favorite Russian author (and a significant character in Ashoke’s past). But Gogol hates his name, and the Bengali traditions that are forced on him since childhood. The reader follows him through adolescence into adulthood where his history and his family affect his relationships with others particularly his parents and of course women. This novel presents an exploration of the immigrant experience, but the lessons are universal... Anyone who has ever been ashamed of their parents, felt the guilty pull of duty, questioned their own identity, or fallen in love, will identify with these intermingling lives. I found this book to be beautifully written without being pretentious or overly self-aware. I found myself not wanting it to end. 4 ½ out of 5 stars.
posted Jun 12, 2014 at 3:52PM
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main characters Ashoke "Mithu" Ganguli
East Indian
Ashima's husband through an arranged marriage; came to America to attain a PhD in engineering from MIT; embraces the American culture.

Ashima "Monu" Ganguli
East Indian
Ashoke's wife through an arranged marriage; resists Americanization.

Gogol Ganguli/Nikhil
East Indian-American
Wants to distance himself from his heritage; son of Ashoke and Ashima.

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