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Jhumpa Lahiri: Gogol in the Namesake

January 11th, 2007 · No Comments

Ever since I read the Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, I have been wondering why she chose the name “Gogol” for her main character. I found the answer today in an interview which is quite interesting in and of itself: Interview: Jhumpa Lahiri Speaks on “The Namesake”

The original spark of the book was the fact that a friend of my cousin’s in India had the pet name Gogol

Aha! We all know that Jhumpa was born “Nilanjana” and then became “Jhumpa” since a teacher liked her nickname better, or something like that. Seems that she wanted to replicate that in the Namesake.

So disappointing! I thought there was some mysterious thread that links Gogol with Google, or that really huge number, or something more esoteric!