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Movie and Book Review

  • Date Submitted: 02/22/2011 09:18 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 48 
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Jhumpa Lahiri , born on July 11, 1967 is an Indian American author. Lahiri's debut short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies(1999), won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and her first novel, The Namesake (2003), was adapted into the popular film of the same name. She was born Nilanjana Sudeshna, which she says are both "good names," but goes by her nickname Jhumpa   Lahiri is a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama
In 2003, Lahiri published The Namesake, her first novel. The story spans over thirty years in the life of the Ganguli family. The Calcutta-born parents immigrated as young adults to the United States, where their children, Gogol and Sonia, grow up experiencing the constant generational and cultural gap with their parents. A film adaptation of The Namesake was released in March 2007, directed by Mira Nair and starring Kal Penn as Gogol and Bollywood stars Tabu and Irrfan Khan as his parents.
Book Review
The Namesake overflows with the subtle grace and dignity of a family forced to make peace with their divided loyalties to India and America. In quiet yet compelling prose, Jhumpa Lahiri portrays the temperaments of the Calcutta-born parents, Ashima and Ashoke Ganguli, a pair tied to their Indian roots, customs and rituals. The traditionally-wed young couple emigrate to America in 1967 and must adjust to an entirely new world. After the birth of their son, circumstances force them to forego custom and offer a name for the birth certificate. Nonplussed, Ashoke offers the “second” name, Gogol, never meant for use as the child’s public, or formal, name. Ashoke impulsively makes this choice based on the Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, who inspired Ashoke in a very personal manner as a young man.
The Ganguli’s fit readily into an academic community where they eventually find a group of other Bengalis, establishing a network of friends who gather for holidays and special occasions common...


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