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The Namesake

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  181,089 Ratings  ·  9,066 Reviews
Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies established this young writer as one the most brilliant of her generation. Her stories are one of the very few debut works -- and only a handful of collections -- to have won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Among the many other awards and honors it received were the New Yorker Debut of the Year award, the PEN/Hemingway Award, and the ...more
Paperback, 291 pages
Published March 5th 2007 by HarperPerennial (first published September 2003)
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srija yes it is..:). featuring relations with parents and how present generation people treating their parents when they get their own life n relations.
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Dec 03, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indian-lit
After finishing the Namesake, my thoughts were drawn to my last roommate in college, an Indian woman studying for her PHD in Psychology. When I first moved in, she had just broken up with her white boyfriend. “It never would have worked out anyway…” she had cried. By the end of that same year she was flying of to Houston to be wed to a man she had only seen once, a marriage arranged by their parents. Many nights my other roommate (an exchange student from Berlin) and I would sit out on the balco ...more
May 30, 2012 Nataliya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
Jhumpa Lahiri's excellent mastery and command of language are amazing. She writes so effortlessly and enchantingly, in such a captivating manner and yet so matter-of-factly that her writing completely enthralls me. Just look at one of my favorite passages - so simple and beautiful:
"Try to remember it always," he said once Gogol had reached him, leading him slowly back across the breakwater, to where his mother and Sonia stood waiting. "Remember that you and I made this journey together to a pl
"He hates that his name is both absurd and obscure, that it has nothing to do with who he is, that it is neither Indian nor American but of all things Russian. He hates having to live with it, with a pet name turned good name, day after day, second after second… At times his name, an entity shapeless and weightless, manages nevertheless to distress him physically, like the scratchy tag of a shirt he has been forced permanently to wear."

Although on the surface, it appears that Gogol Ganguli’s tor
Look. I admit it. I read for escapist purposes. Specifically, I read to experience a viewpoint that I would never have encountered otherwise. I read to escape the boundaries of my own limited scope, to discover a new life by looking through lenses of all shades, shapes, weirds, wonders, everything humanity has been allotted to senses both defined and not, conveyed by the best of a single mortal's abilities within the span of a fragile stack printed with oh so water damageable ink.

I do not read
Diane S ☔
Jul 21, 2016 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed reading about the Bengali culture, their traditions, envied their sense and closeness of family. Ashima and Ashoke, an arranged marriage, moving to the USA where Ashoke is an engineer, trying to learn a different way of life, different language, so very difficult. Ashima misses her family, and after giving birth to a son misses them even more. They name their son, Gogol, there is a reason for this name, a name he will come to disdain. Eventually the family meets other Bengalis and they b ...more
Jason Koivu
I thought of a better title! An Indian Family Moves To America And Proceeds To Live. One of these days a publishing house is going to snatch me up and make me Head of Titlings!

The Namesake is an expertly crafted, boring slideshow. It reads as if you were listening to someone do a documentary-style narration over stills...


A young Indian couple came from Calcutta to America.


They started a family in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Et cetera


Things happen and more things ha
Mar 13, 2009 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I liked the first 40 pages or so. I was very interested in the scenes in India and the way the characters perceived the U.S. after they moved. But soon I found myself losing interest. There were several problems. One is that Lahiri's novelistic style feels more like summary ("this happened, then this, then this") rather than a story I can experience through scenes. The voice was flat, and this was exacerbated by the fact that it's written in present tense. I never emotionally connected to these ...more
Book subtitle: I will write down everything I know about a certain family of Bengali immigrants in the United States by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Immigrant anguish - the toll it takes in settling in an alien country after having bidden adieu to one’s home, family, and culture is what this prize-winning novel is supposed to explore, but it's no more than a superficial complaint about a few signature – and done to death - South Asian issues relating to marriage and paternal expectations: a clichéd immigrant s
Aug 20, 2007 Sandhya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

It would only be fair to mention here that I saw Mira Nair's adaptation of the book before I actually got down to reading this novel recently. Having loved the film, I was keen to see how Lahiri had approached her characters and where its cinematic version stood in comparison.

I'll say two things. First, I feel this is one of the few times when the film more than does justice to the book and second, that the book itself is a deeply involving and affecting experience. In fact, so compassionate and
Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
This is easily the worst novel I've read in years. Here's my original review, off my now-defunct blog:
Do not read The Namesake.

I was going to skewer this, but for some reason I feel guilty. Probably because it's a book by a woman, and she seems perfectly nice. But. My main beefs with the book:

1. Nothing happens.

2. The main character is mind-numbingly dull.

3. The woman the main character marries, then divorces, in the final few chapters should have been the main character, because at least sh
Iris  Pereyra

So an Idaho School District is considering the possibility of banning The Namesake from their high schools reading list.

I don't know about other parents, but I trust that my kids are not going to read this beautiful novel and somehow plunge into a life of drug abuse...

Also, I might be mistaken since I read it a few years ago, but I don't recall that the use of recreational drugs is an essential part of the plot of this novel...
I've read this book 3 different times for school and for some reason never rated it on here
Dec 30, 2007 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You've heard this story before. Junot Diaz, Julia Alvarez, Anzia Yezierska, and Edwidge Danticat are just a few of the authors who have told their own versions. The story they all have in common: The immigrant experience in the United States. Each of the above authors tackles this subject from a different enthnographic perspective, but the pull between the old (native) culture and the new (immigrant) one is always present.

Pulitzer prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri adds to this conversation with
Julie Ehlers
Sep 28, 2016 Julie Ehlers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies was a collection I admired more than I enjoyed, so I’m sorry to say I was apprehensive about reading her first full-length novel—but happy to report that it was an absolutely great experience. The Namesake is one of those books that works so well, so seamlessly, that it's hard to break it down into its various moving parts. I absolutely loved the characters (in fact, I flat-out longed for Gogol’s sister to have her own book, so intriguing did I find even the mino ...more
Sep 13, 2011 Tatiana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: 1001 List
This appears to be written specifically for Western readers with no knowledge of Indian culture. You know, a commercial, populist work aimed to give you a flavor of India, shock you with arranged marriages, Indian family dynamics, struggles of Indian immigrants, etc., which at the same time gives you no real insight into the foreign mentality that isn't superficial or obvious.

Nothing new for me here. I say read In Other Rooms, Other Wonders instead if you are looking for something less trite.
Parastoo sahebi
Oct 03, 2016 Parastoo sahebi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Parastoo by: عمه زهره!
شیرین و دلچسب.از یک جایی ب بعد دیگه انتظار نداشتم اتفاق خارق العاده ای رخ بده و صرفا از جزییات زندگی روزمره ی این خانواده هندی مهاجر ب آمریکا لذت بردم،همه چیز سیر طبیعی خودشو کرد،شخصیت ها همون تجربه هایی رو کردن ک هر آدم دیگه ای تو زندگی ش ممکنه بکنه و همدردی آدمو بر می انگیزه.
تغییر ب موقع شخصیت هایی ک راجع بهشون حرف می زد، باعث می شد ک زیاد کسل کننده نشه.لذتبخش بود و خوش حالم ک خوندمش.
K.D. Absolutely
Jul 16, 2014 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2012)
Shelves: 1001-non-core, india
No second thought at all: this book is well-written.

It has all the elements of a good novel: tight intriguing plot, show don't tell, memorable characters that you can't help but empathize with and it teaches us a thing or two about being marginalized if not discriminated or alienated because we are different from most of the people we find ourselves with. I am living in the country where I was born but I have two siblings who are now living in the West (older brother in California and older sist
Jun 28, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indian-novels
This is a diaspora novel; the story of a Bengali family moving to America; the intermingling of cultures, the way different generations adapt and change. It is really well written and is very easy to read and I enjoyed this more than the collection of short stories by the same author. The plot itself is fairly thin and revolves around the main protagonist Gogol Ganguli, his parents (who move to America from India and his various doomed love interests. There are some good food descriptions, and f ...more
Dec 06, 2008 Shamik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could write a book about how this book affected me. I am an American Bengali and, for much of my life, I have taken my cultural background for granted, if not lost sight of it completely. "The Namesake" takes the little efforts and rituals in my family that I have always thought to be "weird", and weaves them into something utterly beautiful. Amazing novel.
I was inspired to read this book after watching the movie. The prose is lovely; her descriptions are so personal and detailed that it makes it seem as if you have known these characters all your life. I was completely absorbed in this book and sad when it ended -- I wanted to stay with these characters, see how the rest of their lives turned out.
Apr 04, 2011 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia, immigration
It was so good to immerse myself in another of Jhumpa Lahiri's books. As with her other novels, I felt totally enrapt with the ebb and flow of her narrative. Her writing is lyrical and elegant, yet simple and warmly descriptive.

The focus of the immigration experience is clearly defined. One can easily sense the feelings of alienation of Lahiri's characters. Despite the attempts to become a part of American society, the older generation clings to their ethnic and national practises and shuns newe
Nov 24, 2015 لیلی rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: دارمشان
فوق العاده! جدا فوق العاده!
جومپا لاهیری میتونه یکی از - تا نویسنده ای باشه که تا آخر عمر هرچیزی که ازشون منتشر بشه رو سعی میکنم بخونم...
انقدر که این زن بلده خوب بنویسه! انقدرررر که بلده واقعی بنویسه! جوری که سر فوت پدر گوگول آدم واقعا یه جور حس خلاء بدی تو خودش حس کنه، و سر تنهایی های آشیما حس کنه خودشم چقدر تنهاست، و زمان تنفر گوگول از فرهنگی که بهش تعلق داره اما نمیخوادش، حس کنه چقدر حق داره، و بعد از اون وقتی دوباره بر میگرده به فرهنگ خودش و میپذیردش، باز هم حس کنه که حق داره:)) و چقدررر قشنگ
Jhumpa Lahiri is an artist; a literary artist who paints the most beautiful pictures with words, a talented seamstress (yes, I know what seamstress means) who weaves the most intricate, well-woven stories, a Pulitzer-winning goddess who made me feel so many emotions at once. Oh, you wonderful, wonderful woman! *wipes the tears streaming down her face*

The Namesake tells the story of two generations of the Ganguli family as they try to live their lives as immigrants in America. It wonderfully cont
Ibrahim Al-Khulaifi
Aug 30, 2016 Ibrahim Al-Khulaifi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
الرواية التي تمنيت أن لا تنتهي! !
Oct 24, 2007 Meredith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is a family saga from the initial immigration of a wife and husband from India to The States which goes on to talk about the life of their son. Their son, Gogol, appears to be confused as to what his identity is and is conflicted over honoring tradition and the culture of a new world. This book is somewhat entertaining and interesting, but really did not leave any profound marks. Most of the book is light and almost reads like a soap opera at times (going from one meaningless rela
مروان البلوشي
تاريخ القراءة الأصلي :

تعجبني الروايات التي تتحدث عن تجارب المهاجرين وأجيالهم، وهذه الرواية المشحونة بدقائق وظروف وحيوات المهاجرين الهنود للولايات المتحدة تتغنى بحياتهم بشكل لم اقرأه سابقا، ولا أعني هنا نقل تجاربهم فقط فقد اعتدنا ذلك كقراء ولكن أيضا الشعرية والعاطفية المحمومة مع وخزات السخرية التي ترافق الرواية منذ بدايتها.
من طرائف الرواية هو وجود شخصية تحمل إسم الأديب الروسي غوغول.
Oct 11, 2016 Soplada rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The title and the synopsis suggest a dilemma-based novel that tackles cracked identity between two directions; West and East, but this isn't what I have witnessed. Rather, this is about a teenage then a man that hates his tradition and homeland so much he starts to date girls that don't belong to any place or are lost in their own spheres. Tackling the chasm is not there and never can it be sniffed here, why? we are running away with a man that is liking new tradition (though it might not be tha ...more
Feb 26, 2015 Kandice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lahiri tells us Gogol’s story beginning with his mother’s. She is newly married and brought to America by her Indian husband. During her pregnancy with Gogol she feels very alone and isolated, at times even depressed. This depression seems to continue until after Gogol is born and his parents are able to foster an Indian Family of sorts out of the other Bengali’s they meet in America. These Bengali friends allow Gogol’s mother, Ashima, to still feel Indian. This is the balm to her soul.

Lahiri pu
Mar 24, 2016 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story based on a typical American immigrant experience but told with great insight into the conflicts and confusions of immigrants and their new American children. Lahiri tells the story of the two generations in a simple but absorbing way, filling out the characters lovingly with all their idiosyncracies and anxieties. After an arranged marriage Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli emigrate from Calcutta to America so that Ashoke can complete his graduate studies in Engineering and take up a t ...more
Jul 07, 2015 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd read a few of Lahiri's short stories, and had seen the movie of The Namesake, but I put off reading it for a while.
It's definitely a worthwhile read. I gave it five stars, not because it's the greatest book I've ever read, but because it was the right book for me to read right now--there's something about where I am in my life that makes Gogol Ganguli's story resonate with me in a way that it probably wouldn't have when the book was first published.
Lahiri has a gift for capturing the emotio
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Play Book Tag: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri - 5 stars 4 13 Mar 31, 2016 07:46AM  
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Nilanjana Sudeshna "Jhumpa" Lahiri was born in London and brought up in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Brought up in America by a mother who wanted to raise her children to be Indian, she learned about her Bengali heritage from an early age.

Lahiri graduated from South Kingstown High School and later received her B.A. in English literature from Barnard College in 1989. She then received multiple d
More about Jhumpa Lahiri...

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