The Namesake - Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

The Namesake
2004, 304 pp

This novel, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the story of an Indian couple that left India to start a new life in America. Their children, born in America, grow up in between the Indian culture of their parents and the American society they live in. While their parents feel closely connected to the family and culture they left behind in India, their children do not feel part of this world. The oldest son is named after his father favourite Russian author Gogol. Not feeling any connection to this name, that is neither American nor Indian, he changes his name when he turns eighteen. Lahiri’s novel is a very enjoyable read that discusses the current theme of what defines one’s identity.