The Namesake This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     America is an immigrant nation, butimmigrants are often singled out for their different ways of life. Eachindividual's story is incredibly distinct, though, as the problemsthat arise while merging into a new society are different for each.Their entire way of life is shredded when they reach America. Thedelicate balance between new and old is obtained through pain andsuffering, as described in this moving novel.

The heart-wrenchingtale of an Indian family struggling to adapt to the American cultureemerges in this novel. From Calcutta, Ashima Ganguli obtains a covetedteaching job at MIT. The victim in their arranged marriage is Ashoke,the devastated bride, who leaves her life behind to join a stranger inAmerica. Wrestling between her cultural dedication and her duty toAshima, Ashoke faces the task of creating a new life.

TheGanguli's effort to fit in is magnified with the added task ofbuilding a family. Their infant son, Gogol, has been named through aseries of mishaps. Ashima and Ashoke are devastated to find that theirtraditions are not welcome in America, but try to make do with what theyhave.

The Namesake follows the life of Gogol, who manages toforge his own path in the world despite the heavy expectations of hisparents. We see him grow into a man through high-school parties, tragiclove affairs and dramatic family conflicts. The never-ending struggle tokeep old traditions alive while moving forward with society isemphasized in his life.

This novel embraces the immigrant effortwith compassionate writing that appeals to all. The generation gap isintensified through the distinct differences between India and America.The need to be accepted forces the Gangulis to adapt to Americanculture.

Pulitzer Prize-winner Lahiri eases readers through herstory, making them agree with The New York Times in calling this thebest book of the year. The Namesake is a must-read for those who haveever felt like an outsider, and allows other readers to become animmigrant through the eyes of the Gangulis and embrace the culturaldifferences of America.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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