Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Namesake

The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri - In this novel Lahiri builds a story based on immigrant experiences, culture clashes and the resistance of assimilation in a land rich with undeniable culture. Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli, after their arranged marriage, settle in Cambridge, Massachusetts with hopes of conquering the American dream; career, family and social standing. Ashoke adapts to the American way of life with much greater ease than his wife who longs to be with her family and their customs in Calcutta. When Ashima gives birth to a son, his good name chosen by Ashima's grandmother is lost in the mail forcing the Ganguli's to name their son after a Russian writer. Gogol Ganguli wanders through life feeling "different" because of his uncommon name.

Lahiri reveals through great detail, the importance of a name and its defining purpose in ones life. Although written with painstaking detail, this novel lacks life, body and color. There are many unexplained issues that arise in the story that may have made a difference in the bland rhythm of this novel. I didn't love it or hate it but I was mildly disappointed. Nevertheless, I plan to read more of Lahiri's work in the near future.

♥♥ - Mildly disappointing!!

ISBN: 0618485228
ISBN-13: 9780618485222
Format: Paperback, 304pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pub. Date: September 2004

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