The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri


“You remind me of everything that followed”

#blurb: Gogol is named after his father’s favourite author. But growing up in an Indian family in sub urban America, the boy starts to hate the awkward name and itches to cast it off, along with the inherited values it represents. Determined to live a life far removed from that of his parents, Gogol sets off on his own path only to discover that the search for identity depends on much more than a name

Author: Jhumpa Lahiri

Publisher: Harpercollins

Pages: 304

Buy it: here

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

Ashoke Ganguli and Ashima Ganguli who were born in Calcutta are spending their married life in America. Ashima misses her life in Calcutta and spends her free time reading Bengali books and magazine while Ashoke is mostly busy with his work. Soon a baby boy is born to them and they decide to name him after a Russian author Nikolai Gogol whose book once saved Ashoke from an accident. Gogol grew up in America but was always teased due to his name. When he reaches a matured age he decides to change his name to Nikhil and actually goes through the process. But what he doesn’t realise is that changing his name doesn’t change his roots. As time passes by various changes occurs in his life, his relationship with his parents hits a rock and he starts avoiding them. He takes many wrong decisions in his way to search his identity. If you want to know more about the Gangulis then don’t forget to pick it up the next time you see it.

This book is a literary gem and deserves all the praise. It is beautifully written with an exceptional story line giving out the message that your search for identity depends on much more than a name. All the people living away from their homeland with relate the most to this story. The feeling of loneiness and cultural differences in a foreign land is well highlighted. The struggle to establish your identity in a land where you feel alienated was portrayed beautifully through the character of Ashima. Also Gogol’s character makes you understand that changing your name doesn’t change who you are and from where you belong. A name doesn’ t define your identity. The story is simple yet enthralling. I highly recommend this to everyone out there.

Buy it here

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