Every so often a book comes along that you enjoy reading from start to finish. From the writing, to the concept, The Namesake is firmly in my list of favourite books.
Stylist magazine did an interview with Ava DuVernay, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling of a Wrinkle In Time. The printed article had each name their favourite book. The Namesake being one.
The Namesake is a beautiful book about an Indian-American boy, born and raised in America, who returns annually to Calcutta, to visit family. Lost between the cultures and traditions of both, without a clear sense of his heritage. On certain levels, I could definitely relate to the identity/nationality crisis.
Gogol, whom The Namesake is entitled after, is the central character. His name, unsuprisngly causes attention growing up. He is that kid, that causes teachers difficulity to initally pronounce the name. Gogol never relates to the name, despite knowing it’s his Dad’s favourite author. Without too much of a spoilers, there is a reason why he was named that, why it was not the name his parents wanted and why Gogol looks to try and change his name. The whole book is just lovely. I think we can all relate to having different names or nicknames depending on the scenario of our lives. I am Fie in running, social media etc but very much Fiona at work! Much of the book also looks at arranged marriage, differences in relationships in different cultures. Relationships of both boyfriend/girlfriend, siblings and parents and children.
I definitely want to re-read this book as there was some amazing quotes, but I was too busy enjoying the book to highlight them.
Like all good books, The Namesake was made into a film.