The Namesake

The Namesake

Book - 2003
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Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies established this young writer as one the most brilliant of her generation. Her stories are one of the very few debut works -- and only a handful of collections -- to have won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Among the many other awards and honors it received were the New Yorker Debut of the Year award, the PEN/Hemingway Award, and the highest critical praise for its grace, acuity, and compassion in detailing lives transported from India to America. In The Namesake, Lahiri enriches the themes that made her collection an international bestseller: the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation, and, most poignantly, the tangled ties between generations. Here again Lahiri displays her deft touch for the perfect detail -- the fleeting moment, the turn of phrase -- that opens whole worlds of emotion.
The Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. 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 betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name. Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs. With penetrating insight, she reveals not only the defining power of the names and expectations bestowed upon us by our parents, but also the means by which we slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define ourselves. The New York Times has praised Lahiri as "a writer of uncommon elegance and poise." The Namesake is a fine-tuned, intimate, and deeply felt novel of identity.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, c2003
ISBN: 9780395927212
0395927218
9780618733965
0618733965
9780618485222
Characteristics: 291 p

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g
ghoughton
Dec 17, 2016

I downloaded the ebook to read on my nook, and it will not let me open it without entering my full name and credit card despite the fact that the book is a rental from the library. The file opens fine on my computer. Anyone know how to solve this issue?

w
WCLSBlaineLibrary
Dec 02, 2016

Truly engaging, well written, high praise for Jhumpa Lahiri... again.
She has a gift for chronicling families struggling with the delicate balance of
being loyal to traditions of India while coming of age in America.

t
tjdickey
Apr 27, 2016

Richly detailed, but effortless. The film adaptation is excellent, but the book is the story in HD. Look for the train returning in different motifs, or the shoes that Ashima tries on her feet...

p
pokano
Dec 31, 2015

I adored this book, the story of Indian immigrants and their children, as they try to adjust to American life while attempting--at least in the parents' generation--to preserve their own heritage. The parents are the product of an arranged marriage, but as the years go by, their shared experiences deepen their relationship. The son, named Gogol, after his father's favorite Russian author, spends his first two plus decades trying to deal with his parents' expectations as well as with a name he hates. Although some readers have complained that "nothing happens in this book," what happens is life, and Lahiri makes us care deeply about the members of the family.

p
peggyb
Jun 14, 2015

a god reqr

c
carolynlindstrom
Jan 08, 2015

Enjoyable, Indian couple in US, contrast with home and family in India, child grows up in NY.

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 05, 2015

Ashima, in an arranged marriage to Ashoke Ganguli, misses her native India as she sets up house in Massachusetts. Her son Gogol is "the namesake" of the title and the centre of this richly detailed account of the immigrant experience. You will be charmed by the lovingly crafted cast of characters you meet in this author’s first novel.

mariamaslam724 Jul 27, 2014

this book is really a page turner. Sure its boring form the beginning but the writer proves herself at the end. Although, it is very inappropriate at some parts its a good book.

d2013 Feb 20, 2013

Excellent read and the movie was good too!

l
Letajoan
Aug 29, 2012

a wonderful story about family and moving to Canada from a culture so different ...uses the Russian poet Gogol as they name there son born in Canada after him...how hard it is to be the parents of children born here and grow up being so Canadian as compared to their parents life in India

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i
imaginethat
Feb 10, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

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Veronica Martin
Sep 07, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

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imaginethat
Feb 10, 2011

imaginethat thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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catwcap
Jul 25, 2012

inscribed in the book Gogol's father had given him: "For Gogol Ganguli, The man who gave you his name, from the man who gave you your name"

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