The Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. It is 1967. 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.
Jhumpa 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 in this fine novel of identity. Read Excerpt
If you have read Jhumpas award-winning simple short stories of Indian assimilation in America, youre bound to love The Namesake. The New York Times aptly describes it as A debut novel that is as assured and eloquent as the work of a longtime master of the craft.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company; ISBN: 0395927218
Hardcover; 304 pages; Publication Date: 09/16/2003