Book Discussion: The Namesake re-scheduled for February 6

Bengali edition of The Namesake Bengali edition of The Namesake

Note: This post reflects the re-scheduled book discussion of The Namesake, necessitated by last week’s snow storm.

On Thursday February 6, the Library Book Club will discuss The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel about a Bengali couple from Calcutta and their American-born children. The Namesake is a story about the American immigrant experience: the conflicted feelings of ambition and nostalgia by the immigrant generation and the ambivalence of their children who are expected to embrace the new homeland while feeling a connection to a country where they have never lived. At the same time, the novel is alive with the smells and tastes of Indian cooking, traditional customs and holidays, and even every-day information about Bengali pedagogy, such as the way children learn to form letters of the complex alphabet as if they “hang from a bar.”

The Library owns three copies of the book, which is also a National Endowment for the Arts Big Read selection. An excellent reader’s guide to the novel is available on the Big Read website.

The discussion will take place at 12:00 in the Library Conference Room. An Indian snack will be served. Distance students and faculty are invited to join us via Google Hangouts. Here is the Library’s permanent link for all Hangout events:

For more information about the Library Book Club, including a current schedule, see our new webpage.