The Namesake By Jhumpa Lahiri
The book, The Namesake, is one of Jhumpa Lahiri’s renounced book which was later picturized by Mira Nair in a movie in 2006. The book gained popularity due to its versatile style of writing and its climax and anti-climax at various stages as the story progresses.
The story of The Namesake starts with a couple where the husband survives a near-fatal-train crash with a copy of the book The Overcoat by the famous Russian author Nikolai Gogol. So, when it is his and his wife’s turn to name their new born son, they name him Gogol.
The story of The Namesake spans the first three decades of the life of this son Gogol, his lifestyle and his development. As he grows up, Gogol develops a resentment for this name and changed it into Nikhil, the name his parents had given for official records. The story progresses with him and the other characters around him such as his American girlfriend Maxine, his wife in later stage, Moushumi and continues till his return back to his home town. It is during his journey back, that he finally goes through his deceased father’s write-up and had a change in mindset.
In the novel The Namesake, the author has explored the concepts of cultural identity, of rootlessness, of expectations from family and of tradition. The novel also explores into the fact that a name can sometimes alter our perception of ourselves. This truly amazing book by Jhumpa Lahiri is a must read for any reader who craves for a good story.