the namesake

the namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri. also a movie, out on dvd.

someone recommended this novel to jeannie, and she read it on our rv trip. i “ran out of books” on that trip, and picked it up. such an interesting read!

the namesake ploddingly, normally, non-flashily follows the life of a first generation couple from india (who move to the u.s.) and their second generation son. it gracefully reveals the difference in struggles between first generation and second generation immigrants. really, it’s the story of the mom and the son, while the other characters (particularly the father) aren’t unimportant. and, at the end of the day, the book is really a struggle to find an identity for the second generation son. the mom knows her identity, which has nothing to do with america, other than that it’s where her husband and children live. but the son struggles to define his identity — particularly the role india and his heritage play.

it’s not exactly a pick-me-up story. but it’s worth reading for more than it’s casual, easy storytelling. for me, it was instructional, educational. that might sound like i’m saying it’s boring. not at all! i’ve been trying to find the movie — which stars kal penn — but no one has it, so i think i’m going to have to buy it.

One thought on “the namesake”

  1. hey marko – your facebook feed flashed up on my profile that you had read this and i added this to my quay at the library and just finished it. it was very moving and such an inside view to a life i can only imagine. thanks for the head’s up.

    also – netflix allows you to request movies, i don’t know where the link is, but if they don’t have it they sometimes will get it in if requested.

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