Betsy Wachter's Reviews > The Namesake

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
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Jul 18, 08

Read in July, 2008

This is a quietly moving story of a Bengali family who immigrate to the United States in the 1960's and settle in the Boston area. The main character (the namesake of the title) is Gogol Ganguli, who was named for his father's
obsession with the literary works of Nikolai Gogol. Tiring of having an unusual name, Gogol follows the legal process to change his name to Nikil. We follow Nikil as he grows to adulthood and becomes an architect, settling in New York and marrying a Bengali woman he had known as a child. Because I have come in contact with many South Asian families through my work, I was interested to learn some of their customs, and especially to gain understanding into the hardships that immigrants endure as they live their lives away from family and in an unfamiliar environment. I listened to this book, and it is well-read.
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