The Namesake is the story of a boy brought up Indian in America, from 'the kind of writer who makes you want to grab the next person and say "Read this!"' (AMY TAN)
'When her grandmother learned of Ashima's pregnancy, she was particularly thrilled at the prospect of naming the family's first sahib. And so Ashima and Ashoke have agreed to put off the decision of what to name the baby until a letter comes...'
For now, the label on his hospital cot reads simply BABY BOY GANGULI. But as time passes and still no letter arrives from India, American bureaucracy takes over and demands that 'baby boy Ganguli' be given a name. In a panic, his father decides to nickname him 'Gogol' – after his favourite writer.
Brought up as an Indian in suburban America, Gogol Ganguli soon finds himself itching to cast off his awkward name, just as he longs to leave behind the inherited values of his Bengali parents. And so he sets off on his own path through life, a path strewn with conflicting loyalties, love and loss...
Spanning three decades and crossing continents, Jhumpa Lahiri's much-anticipated first novel is a triumph of humane story-telling. Elegant, subtle and moving, The Namesake is for everyone who loved the clarity, sympathy and grace of Lahiri's Pulitzer Prize-winning debut story collection, Interpreter of Maladies.
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'Quietly dazzling... The Namesake is that rare thing: an intimate, closely observed family portrait that effortlessly and discreetly unfolds to disclose a capacious social vision... Jhumpa Lahiri has taken the haunting chamber music of her first collection of stories and reorchestrated its themes of exile and identity to create a symphonic work, a debut novel that is as assured and eloquent as the work of a longtime master of the craft.' Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
Praise for Interpreter of Maladies:
‘Lahiri is a writer of uncommon elegance and poise, and with Interpreter of Maladies she has made a precocious debut.’ New York Times
‘After reading three of these stories, I found myself rationing the remaining six, to try to make the book last longer. A lovely collection.’ Scotsman
‘Strong, subtle... a debut to relish.’ Guardian
‘One of the finest short story writers I’ve read’ Amy Tan
‘The genius of Lahiri’s storytelling lies in her restrained drollery, her eye for details, and her tone of wise consolation.’ Harpers & Queen
‘Dazzling writing... Simply put, Lahiri displays a remarkable maturity and ability to imagine other lives.’ USA Today
‘Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake is a patient, quiet novel about identity. As with her short story collection, the prose is lyrical and rich with details that bring to life characters torn between old world traditions and assimilation. Though it doesn't really break any new ground, the writing is so precise and the characters (particularly Gogol) so well-defined, that one doesn't mind and takes The Namesake for what it is: an engrossing tale told by a uniquely talented author. ‘ Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite RunnerAbout the Author:
Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London of Bengali parents, and grew up in Rhode Island, USA. Her stories have appeared in many American journals, including the New Yorker. Interpreter of Maladies, her first published collection, won the Pulitzer Prize 2000 for Fiction, the New Yorker Prize for Best First Book, the PEN/Hemingway Award and was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Award. Jhumpa Lahiri lives in New York.
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Book Description Flamingo, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 000225901X