always nice to read about cultures you are familiar with.
2003 novel by Jhumpa Lahiri tells the story of Gogol Ganguli,
the son of an Indian academic and his wife. Together with
his traditional family, Gogol grows up in America, and like
a typical immigrant drama, he faces divided loyalties, comic
detours and wrenching love affairs.
boy’s journey into adulthood is written so beautifully
that the novel won Lahiri a Pulitzer Prize, The bittersweet
story has also been adapted into a film directed by Mira Nair
and starring Kal Penn in the role of Gogol.
moving tale is told vividly, thanks to Lahiri’s lyrical
descriptions of the conflicting Asian and Western cultures.
There are no exciting and stirring plot twists. What you can
expect is a meandering account of life-reflecting moments
that you may find enlightening.
of responsibilities, expectations, guilt, and traditions are
intricately interwoven within poetically-written symbolizations
and portrayals of the Indian culture. While the impatient
reader may find fault in the novel’s lack of exhilaration,
he must realize that the finer beauties of life require deeper
When she calls out to Ashoke, she doesn’t say his name.
Ashima never thinks of her husband’s name when she thinkg
of her husband, even though she knows perfectly well what
it is. She has adopted his surname but refuses, for propreity’s
sake, to utter his first. It’s not the type of thing
Bengali wives do. Like a kiss or caress in a Hindi movie,
a husband’s name is something intimate and therefore
unspoken, cleverly parched over.
your time to read this novel and you’d go on a rewarding
journey of realization. The simple but rich writing will melt
the coldest of hearts, while the affecting and sincerely soulful
story will be of universal appeal.
by John Li