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.
- 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
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.