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The Namesake

The Namesake

Book - 2003
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"Dazzling...An intimate, closely observed family portrait."-- The New York Times

"Hugely appealing."-- People Magazine

"An exquisitely detailed family saga."-- Entertainment Weekly

Meet the Ganguli family, new arrivals from Calcutta, trying their best to become Americans even as they pine for home. The name they bestow on their firstborn, Gogol, betrays all the conflicts of honoring tradition in a new world--conflicts that will haunt Gogol on his own winding path through divided loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs.

In The Namesake , the Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri brilliantly illuminates the immigrant experience and the tangled ties between generations.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2003.
ISBN: 9780618485222
Branch Call Number: LAHIR
Characteristics: 291 p.


From Library Staff

d2013 Feb 20, 2013

Excellent read and the movie was good too!

ser_library Jun 11, 2012

i liked the span of years but got bored halfway through and then skimmed

From the critics

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Apr 26, 2021

Wow. I read this book for school, but man, I fell in love with it just as easily as I have with books I read on my own time. I love a good family drama, and The Namesake checks all of those boxes. Something I think is really worth noting about The Namesake is that it is about the assimilation of a Bengali family into American society but it is not explicitly about racism. The Gangulis face microaggressions and the struggles of living amongst a different country with different values, but it does not feel exploitative. The story has so much more to it than just sadness - it is about love, tradition, family, identity, and growing up. Jhumpa Lahiri’s writing is so beautifully moving; I found myself so captivated by her words I just wanted to keep reading past our assignments. Definitely my favorite school read, and one of my new favorites overall.

Apr 17, 2021

A lovely novel by the wonderful author Jhumpa Lahiri. The Namesake follows the story of a Bengali family who is transplanted to the Northeast. Instead of warmth, spices and lots of family, the Gangulis are thrust into the cold, bitter Northeast climate as Ashoke, the husband, and Ashima, the wife, attempt to navigate the U.S. Lahiri does an excellent job of letting the characters speak for themselves. Gogol Ganguli strives to achieve his idealistic life by surrounding himself with others who he admires. What does a namesake mean? How does an individual form their own identity? These are two of many questions that Lahiri explores in her magnificent, luminous novel.

Apr 01, 2021

I liked how this book had a realistic representation of what some South Asian families in the USA with immigrant parents are like. The book shows the children, first generation Indian-Americans, drifting away from their parents’/family traditions and towards more Western lifestyles. They can’t be blamed for that because they’re living in the USA, so of course they would have great Western influences in their life. I like how Jhumpa Lahiri depicted this well, and not in a cringey way, as I’ve seen some do before. Besides that, the book is written well and the plot and characters are developed amazingly. I even shed a tear at some parts. I would give this book 5 stars.

Groszerita May 26, 2019

This is a story of the immigrant experience and also a story about a father and son relationship.

Sep 15, 2018

Anglo-Indian writer Jhumpa Lahiri's first book of short stories, "Interpreter of Maladies," won the Pulitzer. "The Namesake" is her first novel and has similar themes, namely the immigrant experience in America. Made into a film. Also, "The Windfall."

Jan 15, 2018

I love this novel.

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?

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.

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...

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.

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Feb 10, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Veronica Martin
Sep 07, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

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Feb 10, 2011

imaginethat thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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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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