Teacher Guide

The Namesake Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Namesake

The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri's first novel, was published in 2003, a few years after Lahiri's debut short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies, had received the Pulitzer Prize. A shorter novella-length version of the book had been previously published in The New Yorker, but the version ultimately published would span thirty years, going deeper and further into the lives of the Ganguli family.

The Namesake follows the birth and life of Gogol Ganguli, the first child of Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli, Bengali immigrants to the United States. Gogol is given his name because his father was reading the short stories of Nikolai Gogol when he suffered a devastating train accident as a young...

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