The Namesake is a novel written by British-American author Jhumpa Lahiri, first published in 2003. The narrative follows the life of Gogol Ganguli, an Indian-American man born and raised in the United States. The story explores Gogol’s journey of self-discovery, his struggle with his identity, and the impact of his unusual name, which is a result of a cultural clash between his Bengali heritage and his American upbringing. The Namesake is situated in the latter half of the 20th century, capturing the experiences and relationships of immigrants and their descendants in the United States. The novel delves into the difficulties of navigating two distinct cultures and the challenges of reconciling personal identity with family expectations.

Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel is celebrated for its nuanced portrayal of the immigrant experience, the generational divide, and the significance of names in shaping one's sense of self. The Namesake addresses themes of cultural identity, assimilation, and the evolving definition of home. The book was adapted into a film in 2006 by director Mira Nair, showcasing Lahiri’s exploration of the universal quest for belonging.

Explore the full plot summary, an in-depth analysis of an Gogol Ganguli, and explanations of important quotes from The Namesake.

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