About the book -The Namesake (2003) is the debut novel by American author Jhumpa Lahiri. It was originally published in The New Yorker and was later expanded to a full-length novel. It explores many of the same emotional and cultural themes as Lahiri's Pulitzer Prize-winning short story collection Interpreter of Maladies. The novel moves between events in Calcutta, Boston, and New York City, and examines the nuances involved with being caught between two conflicting cultures with distinct religious, social, and ideological differences.
“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’.”
About the author -
Nilanjana Sudeshna "Jhumpa" Lahiri (born July 11, 1967) is an American author known for her short stories, novels and essays in English, and, more recently, in Italian. Her debut collection of short-stories Interpreter of Maladies (1999) won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Hemingway Award, and her first novel, The Namesake (2003), was adapted into the popular film of the same name. Her first novel, "The Namesake", was a New York Times Notable Book, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and was made into a major motion picture.  Unaccustomed Earth (2008) won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, while her second novel, The Lowland (2013), was a finalist for both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award for Fiction. On January 22, 2015, Lahiri won the USD 50,000 DSC Prize for Literature for The Lowland In these works, Lahiri explored the Indian-immigrant experience in America. In 2011, Lahiri moved to Rome, Italy and has since then published two books of essays, and in 2018, published her first novel in Italian called Dove mi trovo and also compiled, edited and translated the Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories which consists of 40 Italian short stories written by 40 different Italian writers. She has also translated some of her own writings and those of other authors from Italian into English. In 2014, Lahiri was awarded the National Humanities Medal. She has been a professor of creative writing at Princeton University since 2015.