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The Namesake
by Lahiri, Jhumpa
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1. The title of the book highlights the struggle Gogol Ganguli feels about his name. Do you think your name defines who you are? Does changing your name change the way people perceive you?

2. How does Askoke's experience in the train wreck change the life of his family? If this is such an important experience for him, why does he hide it from Gogol?

3. The Gangulis are immigrants from India. How does each of them come to terms with life in America? How do each character's experiences differ from that of the other characters? Do you think their impressions are typical of what many immigrants experience?

4. How are Gogol's desires and dreams for his life different from those his parents had for him?

5. What did you think of Gogol's relationships with Ruth, Maxine, and Moushumi? What was he looking for with each of these women? Does he find it?

6. How does Ashoke's death change his family? What relationships are affected by his death?

7. Did you find the ending of "The Namesake" surprising?

Additional discussion questions from: Reading Group Guides
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