The Namesake

why does the name Gogol have special meaning for Ashoke?

why Ashoke is so fond of the name Gogol?

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As a young engineer in India, Ashoke was a big fan of Russian literature. On a train ride he’s reading “The Overcoat,” by Nikolai Gogol, when the train goes off the tracks and all sorts of people are killed. Ashoke barely survives. The works of Gogol take on a special meaning for him. So, when the name chosen for their American-born baby boy by his maternal grandmother, according to Indian custom, never arrives from Calcutta, he becomes Gogol.