The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Vijay Iyer & The Big Read

The moment pianist Vijay Iyer accepted our invitation to provide commentary for the NEA's audio guide for The Namesake, my heart did back flips. Not only does his experience as an Indian-American mirror, to a great extent, that of the novel's author, Jhumpa Lahiri; his story is also similar to the book's protagonist, Gogol Ganguli. The fictitious Gogol even attended the same university as Iyer (Yale). What's more, in 2011 Iyer crafted an exquisite album with Indian musicians Prasanna and Nitin Mitta, called Tirtha. Tirtha is a jazz-informed reflection on the contemporary Indian diaspora. It's a perfect score for a novel that traces the lives of an Indian family assimilating to life in America.

Excerpt of "Duality," composed by Vijay Iyer and used courtesy of ACT Records and by permission of ACT Publishing (SESAC)

Stay tuned for The Namesake audio documentary which will be hot off the press later this summer.


Add new comment