The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
A Novel

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Jhumpa Lahiri

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Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of three previous works of fiction: Interpreter of Maladies, The Namesake and, most recently, Unaccustomed Earth. A recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, a PEN/Hemingway Award, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2012.






























Author Residence: Brooklyn, NY






























Author Hometown: London; Rhode Island
 
Published September 1, 2004 by Mariner Books. 305 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for The Namesake

Publishers Weekly

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This recording features a spare, elegant reading by Choudhury of a story about identity, cultural assimilation and the burden of the past. Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli move from Calcutta to Cambridge,

Jan 05 2004 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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One of the most anticipated books of the year, Lahiri's first novel (after 1999's Pulitzer Prize–winning Interpreter of Maladies) amounts to less t

Jul 07 2003 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

The Guardian

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When Ashima becomes pregnant, her grandmother writes with names - one for a boy and one for a girl - but the letter is lost in the post and American bureaucracy overtakes tradition.

Jan 03 2004 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

The Guardian

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Almost two decades later, Gogol is finding his strange name - neither Bengali nor American - a burden, an embarrassment and a bore.

Jan 16 2004 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

The Guardian

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The Namesake Jhumpa Lahiri Flamingo, £15.99, pp304 The Gangster We Are All Looking For Le Thi Diem Thuy Picador, £12.99, pp200 Old School Tobias Wolff Bloomsbury £12.99, pp320 Wish I May Justine Picardie Picador £15.99, pp356 Jhumpa Lahiri's gracious novel, The Namesake, begi...

Jan 04 2004 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

The Guardian

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Almost two decades later, Gogol is finding his strange name - neither Bengali nor American - a burden, an embarrassment and a bore.

Jan 17 2004 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

BC Books

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The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri was a book recommended by my Mom.

Jul 25 2006 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

BC Books

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Gogol goes through many of the things that I went through, such as the awkwardness of the teen years, the dismissal of my parents' vulnerability as I was growing up and understanding it more compassionately now, and the distance that has grown between me and my parents as I moved through my own ...

Jul 25 2006 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

NPR

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In The Namesake, the film based on the best-selling novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, a family from India struggles with the immigrant experience and the meaning of identity. Director Mira Nair and actor Kal Penn discuss the film.

Mar 09 2007 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

At Bengali gatherings, he heads off with the other kids to watch ''Fantasy Island.'' Needless to say, he hates his name, ''that it is neither Indian nor American but of all things Russian.'' Plus -- and the issue dogs him for years -- he ''cannot imagine saying, 'Hi, it's Gogol' under potential...

Sep 19 2003 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

Teen Ink

This struggle is the initial premise of The Namesake, Jhumpra Lahiri's 2003 novel based on a novella published in The New Yorker. A Bengali couple, Ashima ...

Nov 01 2013 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

Teen Ink

Lahiri paints an elaborate picture of the difficulties of being a first-generation American. The Namesake should be read not only to realize the struggle of a family ...

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Teen Ink

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri begins with Ashima, a young woman from Calcutta, India, preparing for.

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Teen Ink

I venture to the New York City bookstore The Strand about once a month. After passing one book sever.

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Yahoo! Voices

... The Namesake : a Book Review. Ritu Lalit ... Jhumpa Lahiri writes about Bengali immigrants and their American offspring. It is a recurring ...

Mar 26 2009 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

Yahoo! Voices

... A look at The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, focusing on the influence of food on identity as well as cultural influence.

May 09 2008 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

Yahoo! Voices

... This book follows the life of an indian family that moved to America. It's not your typical "immigrant family move to America" book. It's a beautiful ...

Mar 12 2006 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

Quick Book Reviews

... The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri is the story of a couple who, after an arranged marriage, settles in Cambridge and struggles through the ...

Sep 11 2013 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

Jules' Book Reviews

... Summary: 'The Namesake' is the story of a boy brought up Indian in ... Jhumpa Lahiri's much-anticipated first novel is a triumph of humane ...

May 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

The Blue Bookcase

... Reviewed by Connie Published: 2003. It's about: The Namesake, Lahiri's second book after her Pulitzer prize-winner, Interpreter of Maladies, ...

Dec 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

BookRack

One should write a book as ‘what not to name a baby’!

Jan 19 2011 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

Medieval Bookworm

... the namesake Ashima and Ashoke Ganguli begin their lives together with an arranged marriage and a move to the United States from India.

Jan 09 2012 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

Where Pen Meets Paper

... The Namesake: A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri (Boston: Houghton Mifflin ... Jhumpa Lahiri's novel, the Namesake, exhibits the emotions of a ...

Nov 23 2010 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

BookBrowse

... Read reviews of The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, and write your own review. ... This novel is a great fictional depiction of very real circumstances and the ...

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BookBrowse

In The Namesake, Lahiri enriches the themes that made her collection an .... Members read and review books often months before they're published. See what ...

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Youth Services Book Review

2 days ago ... Title: The Namesake Author: Jhumpa Lahiri Genre (check all that apply): Realistic How would you rate this book?: 4 -- Pretty good What did you ...

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Seven Ponds

... What Are the Top Five Regrets of the Dying?: Palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware shares the top five regrets of those nearing the end-of-life ...

Mar 11 2013 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

Seven Ponds

... The family saga is a tried-and-true literary genre, one that usually follows a central clan as they grow, marry, have children, age and eventually ...

Mar 15 2013 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

Ripple Effects

... CLICK HERE to read my movie review of The Namesake (2006). The immigrant experience. I know it first hand, and this I've found: categorizing ...

Oct 16 2010 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

Col Reads

... Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake felt like two different stories to me. ... The book begins with the recently married Ashima in the delivery room of ...

Apr 17 2011 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

American Diplomacy

While the trials of life – and the trials of other people – oppose him, however, Gogol slowly becomes a student of his past.

May 20 2006 | Read Full Review of The Namesake: A Novel

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