Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Namesake: Context
The Namesake: Plot Summary
The Namesake: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Namesake: Themes
The Namesake: Quotes
The Namesake: Characters
The Namesake: Symbols
The Namesake: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Jhumpa Lahiri
Historical Context of The Namesake
Other Books Related to The Namesake
- Full Title: The Namesake
- When Written: 2003
- Where Written: First published in part by the New Yorker, in June 2003
- When Published: September, 2003
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Contemporary Immigrant Fiction, Bildungsroman
- Setting: Calcutta; Massachusetts; New York
- Climax: Debatably, in a novel whose scope spans three decades, the climax comes when Gogol’s father, Ashoke, dies unexpectedly, causing Gogol to return toward his family, leave Maxine, and ultimately marry Moushumi.
- Point of View: Third person omniscient narrator, sometimes with the added perspective of a specific character
Extra Credit for The Namesake
Pet Names Lahiri herself goes by her Indian ‘pet name’ after feeling embarrassed in kindergarten when her teacher had difficulty pronouncing her true name – she has said that this was one inspiration for the story of Gogol/Nikhil.
Film Version There is a popular movie adaptation of The Namesake starring Kal Penn as Gogol Ganguli.