Synopses & Reviews
Jhumpa Lahiris Interpreter of Maladies
established this young writer as one the most brilliant of her generation. 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.
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 marriage, 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, 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 a 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.
About the Author
was born in 1967 in London, England and raised in Rhode Island. Her stories have been selected for both The Best American Short Stories
and the O. Henry Award. Her collection of short stories, The Interpreter of Maladies
, won both the Pen/Hemingway Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2000. She lives in New York City.
From the Cassette edition.