Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake

By Adam Kampe
Image of Jhumpa Lahiri


Jhumpa Lahiri. Photo courtesy of David Loudon.

A little over ten years ago, in September of 2003, Jhumpa Lahiri's debut novel, The Namesake, entered the world. A poignant novel and new Big Read selection, The Namesake further explores themes Lahiri has mined throughout her writing career; identity, self-acceptance, and the trials and tribulations of straddling two cultures. Born in London in 1967 to Bengali parents, Jhumpa Lahiri was three when her family moved to Rhode Island. We see traces of the Lahiri family's immigration experiences echoed in the Ganguli's, the fictitious family at the center of the novel. Today, we hear from a few of the all-star contributors to the NEA Big Read audio guide, including writer Manil Suri, who recently read in the NEA's tent at the National Book Festival in DC; actor and arts advocate Kal Penn, who starred in the film adaptation; New Yorker editor, Deborah Treisman; and Lahiri herself. 





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