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Awkwardness is Gogol's birthright. He grows up a bright American boy, goes to Yale, has pretty girlfriends, becomes a successful architect, but like many second-generation immigrants, he can never quite find his place in the world. There's a lovely section where he dates a wealthy, cultured young Manhattan woman who lives with her charming parents. They fold Gogol into their easy, elegant life, but even here he can find no peace and he breaks off the relationship. His mother finally sets him up on a blind date with the daughter of a Bengali friend, and Gogol thinks he has found his match. Moushumi, like Gogol, is at odds with the Indian-American world she inhabits. She has found, however, a circuitous escape: "At Brown, her rebellion had been academic ... she'd pursued a double major in French. Immersing herself in a third language, a third culture, had been her refuge--she approached French, unlike things American or Indian, without guilt, or misgiving, or expectation of any kind." Lahiri documents these quiet rebellions and random longings with great sensitivity. There's no cleverness or showing-off in The Namesake, just beautifully confident storytelling. Gogol's story is neither comedy nor tragedy; it's simply that ordinary, hard-to-get-down-on-paper commodity: real life. --Claire Dederer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Too see America, through the eyes of immigrants, is to renew one's own perspective. To see American life through two generations, two cultural perspectives, a gift. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Sjwilson
This book left me wondering if I liked it or not. I read the whole thing, and I cared about the characters, but I never felt really connected to the story.Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
I thought a novel by a Pulitzer Prize winning author would have more to offer. It does give the reader a rather vivid picture of Indian culture and heritage as experienced by a... Read morePublished 6 days ago by peppermintb
I gave Ms. Lahiri a second chance - which I never do, because once I've read an author that I've never read before and disliked his/her book, I never try again. However, I gave Ms. Read morePublished 14 days ago by maj