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JHUMPA LAHIRI BOOKS PDF

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Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London, England in the New York Times Notable Book, Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, a New England book. Jhumpa Lahiri is one of the most significant writers of the Indian Times Book Prize and was named one of the ―20 best young fiction writers. Jhumpa Lahiri, pictured beside the fountain in Trastevere, the Roman . is any fact written on the back of my books, it's that I grew up in Rhode.


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Jhumpa Lahiri is an accomplished novelist of the first rank." —San Diego Union- "The Namesake confirms what her first book suggested—that she's a writer. Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London and raised in Rhode Island. Her debut Jhumpa Lahiri Author () (). cover image of The Clothing of Books. A must-have for the fans of the #1 bestselling author of Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris, a collection of his favorite short fiction from Flannery O'Connor to.

Downloaded from cww. When she was 3 years old, her family moved to Rhode Island where her father worked as a university librarian. As she was growing up, her family frequently visited Calcutta to see their relatives. Lahiri is the author of two short story collections and a novel, all of which have earned both critical and popular success, spending many weeks on bestseller lists and receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews. Published by Oxford University Press.

What type of field trip was this? It was enough that they applied lipstick to their corpses and buried them in silk-lined boxes.

Unaccustomed Earth

Only in America a phrase she has begun to resort to often these days , only in America are children taken to cemeteries in the name of art. What's next, she demands to know, a trip to the morgue?

In Calcutta the burning ghats are the most forbidden of places, she tells Gogol, and though she tries her best not to, though she was here, not there, both times it happened, she sees her parents' bodies, swallowed by flames.

Never before has she rejected a piece of her son's art. The guilt she feels at Gogol's deflated expression is leavened by common sense. How can she be expected to cook dinner for her family with the names of dead people on the walls?

But Gogol is attached to them. For reasons he cannot explain or necessarily understand, these ancient Puritan spirits, these very first immigrants to America, these bearers of unthinkable, obsolete names, have spoken to him, so much so that in spite of his mother's disgust he refuses to throw the rubbings away.

He rolls them up, takes them upstairs, and puts them in his room, behind his chest of drawers, where he knows his mother will never bother to look, and where they will remain, ignored but protected, gathering dust for years to come. Like most events in his life, it is another excuse for his parents to throw a party for their Bengali friends. His own friends from school were invited the previous day, a tame affair, with pizzas that his father picked up on his way home from work, a baseball game watched together on television, some Ping-Pong in the den.

For the first time in his life he has said no to the frosted cake, the box of harlequin ice cream, the hot dogs in buns, the balloons and streamers taped to the walls. The other celebration, the Bengali one, is held on the closest Saturday to the actual date of his birth. As usual his mother cooks for days beforehand, cramming the refrigerator with stacks of foil-covered trays. She makes sure to prepare his favorite things: All this is less stressful to her than the task of feeding a handful of American children, half of whom always claim they are allergic to milk, all of whom refuse to eat the crusts of their bread.

Close to forty guests come from three different states. Women are dressed in saris far more dazzling than the pants and polo shirts their husbands wear.

A group of men sit in a circle on the floor and immediately start a game of poker. These are his mashis and meshos, his honorary aunts and uncles. They all bring their children; his parents' crowd does not believe in baby-sitters. As usual, Gogol is the oldest child in the group.

He is too old to be playing hide-and-seek with eight-year-old Sonia and her ponytailed, gap- toothed friends, but not old enough to sit in the living room and discuss Reaganomics with his father and the rest of the husbands, or to sit around the dining room table, gossiping, with his mother and the wives.

The closest person to him in age is a girl named Moushumi, whose family recently moved to Massachusetts from England, and whose thirteenth birthday was celebrated in a similar fashion a few months ago. But Gogol and Moushumi have nothing to say to each other. Moushumi sits cross-legged on the floor, in glasses with maroon plastic frames and a puffy polka-dotted headband holding back her thick, chin-length hair.

In her lap is a kelly green Bermuda bag with pink piping and wooden handles; inside the bag is a tube of 7UP-flavored lip balm that she draws from time to time across her mouth. She is reading a well-thumbed paperback copy of Pride and Prejudice while the other children, Gogol included, watch The Love Boat and Fantasy Island, piled together on top and around the sides of his parents' bed.

Occasionally one of the children asks Moushumi to say something, anything, in her English accent. Sonia asks if she's ever seen Princess Diana on the street. Presents are opened when the guests are gone. Gogol receives several dictionaries, several calculators, several Cross pen-and-pencil sets, several ugly sweaters. His parents give him an Instamatic camera, a new sketchbook, colored pencils and the mechanical pen he'd asked for, and twenty dollars to spend as he wishes.

Sonia has made him a card with Magic Markers, on paper she's ripped out of one of his own sketchbooks, which says "Happy Birthday Goggles," the name she insists on calling him instead of Dada.

His mother sets aside the things he doesn't like, which is most everything, to give to his cousins the next time they go to India. Later that night he is alone in his room, listening to side 3 of the White Album on his parents' cast-off RCA turntable. The album is a present from his American birthday party, given to him by one of his friends at school. In recent years he has collected nearly all their albums, and the only thing tacked to the bulletin board on the back of his door is Lennon's obituary, already yellow and brittle, clipped from the Boston Globe.

He sits. He is surprised to see his father, standing in stocking feet, a small potbelly visible beneath his oat-colored sweater vest, his mustache turning gray.

Gogol is especially surprised to see a gift in his father's hands. His father has never given him birthday presents apart from whatever his mother downloads, but this year, his father says, walking across the room to where Gogol is sitting, he has something special. The gift is covered in red-and-green-and-gold-striped paper left over from Christmas the year before, taped awkwardly at the seams.

It is obviously a book, thick, hardcover, wrapped by his father's own hands. Gogol lifts the paper slowly, but in spite of this the tape leaves a scab. The Short Stories of Nikolai Gogol, the jacket says. Inside, the price has been snipped away on the diagonal.

It's a British publication, a very small press. It took four months to arrive. I hope you like it. He would have preferred The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, or even another copy of The Hobbit to replace the one he lost last summer in Calcutta, left on the rooftop of his father's house in Alipore and snatched away by crows. In spite of his father's occasional suggestions, he has never been inspired to read a word of Gogol, or any Russian writer, for that matter. He has never been told why he was really named Gogol, doesn't know about the accident that had nearly killed his father.

He thinks his father's limp is the consequence of an injury playing soccer in his teens. He's been told only half the truth about Gogol: Lately he's been lazy, addressing his parents in English though they continue to speak to him in Bengali. Occasionally he wanders through the house with his running sneakers on. At dinner he sometimes uses a fork. His father is still standing there in his room, watching expectantly, his hands clasped together behind his back, so Gogol flips through the book.

A single picture at the front, on smoother paper than the rest of the pages, shows a pencil drawing of the author, sporting a velvet jacket, a billowy white shirt and cravat. The face is foxlike, with small, dark eyes, a thin, neat mustache, an extremely large pointy nose. Dark hair slants steeply across his forehead and is plastered to either side of his head, and there is a disturbing, vaguely supercilious smile set into long, narrow lips.

Gogol Ganguli is relieved to see no resemblance. True, his nose is long but not so long, his hair dark but surely not so dark, his skin pale but certainly not so pale. The style of his own hair is altogether different—thick Beatle-like bangs that conceal his brows.

Gogol Ganguli wears a Harvard sweatshirt and gray Levi's corduroys. He has worn a tie once in his life, to attend a friend's bar mitzvah. No, he concludes confidently, there is no resemblance at all. For by now, he's come to hate questions pertaining to his name, hates having constantly to explain.

He hates having to tell people that it doesn't mean anything "in Indian. He even hates signing his name at the bottom of his drawings in art class. He hates that his name is both absurd and obscure, that it has nothing to do with who he is, that it is neither Indian nor American but of all things Russian. He hates having to live with it, with a pet name turned good name, day after day, second after second.

He hates seeing it on the brown paper sleeve of the National Geographic subscription his parents got him for his birthday the year before and perpetually listed in the honor roll printed in the town's newspaper. At times his name, an entity shapeless and weightless, manages nevertheless to distress him physically, like the scratchy tag of a shirt he has been forced permanently to wear.

At times he wishes he could disguise it, shorten it somehow, the way the other Indian boy in his school, Jayadev, had gotten people to call him Jay. But Gogol, already short and catchy, resists mutation. Other boys his age have begun to court girls already, asking them to go to the movies or the.

He cannot imagine this at all. From the little he knows about Russian writers, it dismays him that his parents chose the weirdest namesake. Leo or Anton, he could have lived with. Alexander, shortened to Alex, he would have greatly preferred.

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But Gogol sounds ludicrous to his ears, lacking dignity or gravity. What dismays him most is the irrelevance of it all. Gogol, he's been tempted to tell his father on more than one occasion, was his father's favorite author, not his. Then again, it's his own fault. He could have been known, at school at least, as Nikhil. That one day, that first day of kindergarten, which he no longer remembers, could have changed everything.

He could have been Gogol only fifty percent of the time. Like his parents when they went to Calcutta, he could have had an alternative identity, a B-side to the self. The school insisted. Really, there was nothing we could do. He shuts the cover and swings his legs over the edge of the bed, to put the book away on his shelves. But his father takes the opportunity to sit beside him on the bed. For a moment he rests a hand on Gogol's shoulder.

The boy's body, in recent months, has grown tall, nearly as tall as Ashoke's.

The childhood pudginess has vanished from his face. The voice has begun to deepen, is slightly husky now. It occurs to Ashoke that he and his son probably wear the same size shoe. In the glow of the bedside lamp, Ashoke notices a scattered down emerging on his son's upper lip. An Adam's apple is prominent on his neck. The pale hands, like Ashima's, are long and thin.

Ashoke wonders how closely Gogol resembles himself at this age. But there are no photographs to document Ashoke's childhood; not until his passport, not until his life in America, does visual documentation exist. On the night table Ashoke sees a can of deodorant, a tube of Clearasil.

He lifts the book from where it lies on the bed between them, running a hand protectively over the cover. It has been many years since I have read these stories. I hope you don't mind. Do you know why? He spent most of his adult life outside his homeland. Like me. But then Gogol flips the record, turning the volume up on "Revolution 1. Ashoke looks around the room. He notices the Lennon obituary pinned to the bulletin board, and then a cassette of classical Indian music he'd bought for Gogol months ago, after a concert at Kresge, still sealed in its wrapper.

He sees the pile of birthday cards scattered on the carpet, and remembers a hot August day fourteen years ago in Cambridge when he held his son for the first time. The foaming liquid splashes onto the floor, is poured into mugs. They raise their mugs to Gogol, Ashima and Ashoke only pretending to take sips.

Amber and Clover flank Ashima at either side, both delighted when Gogol wraps a hand around each of their fingers. Judy scoops the baby out of Ashima's lap.

Ashoke goes out to the corner store, and a box of disposable diapers replaces the framed black-and-white pictures of Ashima's family on the dressing table. Judy is at work at the collective as usual, and Ashima, on her own with Gogol for the first time in the silent house, suffering from a sleep deprivation far worse than the worst of her jet lag, sits by the three-sided window in the living room on one of the triangular chairs and cries the whole day.

She cries as she feeds him, and as she pats him to sleep, and as he cries between sleeping and feeding. She cries after the mailman's visit because there are no letters from Calcutta. She cries when she calls Ashoke at his department and he does not answer. One day she cries when she goes to the kitchen to make dinner and discovers that they've run out of rice.

She goes upstairs and knocks on Alan and Judy's door. To be polite, Ashima takes a cup, but downstairs she throws it away. She calls Ashoke at his department to ask him to pick up the rice on his way home. This time, when there is no answer, she gets up, washes her face and combs her hair. She changes and dresses Gogol and puts him into the navy blue, white-wheeled pram inherited from Alan and Judy.

For the first time, she pushes him through the balmy streets of Cambridge, to Purity Supreme, to download a bag of white long-grain rice. The errand takes longer than usual; for now she is repeatedly stopped on the street, and in the aisles of the supermarket, by perfect strangers, all Americans, suddenly taking notice of her, smiling, congratulating her for what she's done.

They look curiously, appreciatively, into the pram. Like Ashoke, busy with his teaching and research and dissertation seven days a week, she, too, now has something to oc cupy her fully, to demand her utmost devotion, her last ounce of strength. Before Gogol's birth, her days had followed no visible pattern. She would spend hours in the apartment, napping, sulking, rereading her same five Bengali novels on the bed.

But now the days that had once dragged rush all too quickly toward evening—those same hours are consumed with Gogol, pacing the three rooms of the apartment with him in her arms. Now she wakes at six, pulling Gogol out of the crib for his first feeding, and then for half an hour she and Ashoke lie with the baby in bed between them, admiring the tiny person they've produced.

Between eleven and one, while Gogol sleeps, she gets dinner out of the way, a habit she will maintain for decades to come. Every afternoon she takes him out, wandering up and down the streets, to pick up this or that, or to sit in Harvard Yard, sometimes meeting up with Ashoke on a bench on the MIT campus, bringing him some homemade samosas and a fresh thermos of tea.

At times, staring at the baby, she sees pieces of her family in his face—her mother's glossy eyes, her father's slim lips, her brother's lopsided smile. She discovers a yarn store and begins to knit for the coming winter, making Gogol sweaters, blankets, mittens, and caps.

Every few days she gives Gogol a bath in the porcelain sink in the kitchen. Every week she carefully clips the nails of his ten fingers and toes. When she takes him in his pram for his immunizations at the pediatrician's, she stands outside the room and plugs up her ears. One day Ashoke arrives home with an Instamatic camera to take pictures of the baby, and when Gogol is napping she pastes the square, white- bordered prints behind plastic sheets in an album, captions written on pieces of masking tape.

To put him to sleep, she sings him the Bengali songs her mother had sung to her. She drinks in the sweet, milky fragrance of his skin, the buttery scent of his breath. One day she lifts him high over her head, smiling at him with her mouth open, and a quick stream of undigested milk from his last feeding rises from his throat and pours into her own.

For the rest of her life she will recall the shock of that warm, sour liquid, a taste that leaves her unable to swallow another thing for the rest of the day. Letters arrive from her parents, from her husband's parents, from aunts and uncles and cousins and friends, from everyone, it seems, but Ashima's grandmother.

The letters are filled with every possible blessing and good wish, composed in an alphabet they have seen all around them for most of their lives, on billboards and newspapers and awnings, but which they see now only in these precious, pale blue missives. Sometimes two letters arrive in a single week.

One week there are three. As always Ashima keeps her ear trained, between the hours of twelve and two, for the sound of the postman's footsteps on the porch, followed by the soft click of the mail slot in the door. The margins of her parents' letters, always a block of her mother's hasty penmanship followed by her father's flourishing, elegant hand, are frequently decorated with drawings of animals done by Ashima's father, and Ashima tapes these on the wall over Gogol's crib.

Every hour there is a change. Remember it.

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She writes that they are saving money for a trip home the following December, after Gogol turns one. She does not mention the pediatrician's concern about tropical diseases. A trip to India will require a whole new set of immunizations, he has warned. In November, Gogol develops a mild ear infection. When Ashima and Ashoke see their son's pet name typed on the label of a prescription for antibiotics, when they see it at the top of his immunization record, it doesn't look right; pet names aren't meant to be made public in this way.

But there is still no letter from Ashima's grandmother. They are forced to conclude that it is lost in the mail. Ashima decides to write to her grand mother, explaining the situation, asking her to send a second letter with the names.

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The very next day a letter arrives in Cambridge. Though it is from Ashima's father, no drawings for Gogol adorn the margins, no elephants or parrots or tigers. The letter is dated three weeks ago, and from it they learn that Ashima's grandmother has had a stroke, that her right side is permanently paralyzed, her mind dim. She can no longer chew, barely swallows, remembers and recognizes little of her eighty-odd years.

He kneels on the grass and holds up the newsprint, then begins to rub gently with the side of his crayon. The sun is already sinking and his fingers are stiff with cold. The teachers and chaperones sit on the ground, legs extended, leaning back against the headstones, the aroma of their menthol cigarettes drifting through the air. At first nothing appears apart from a grainy, featureless wash of midnight blue.

Gogol has never met a person named Abijah, just as, he now realizes, he has never met another Gogol. He wonders how to pronounce Abijah, whether it's a man's or a woman's name.

Jhumpa Lahiri

He walks to another tombstone, less than a foot tall, and presses another sheet of paper to its surface. He shudders, imagining bones no larger than his below the ground. Some of the other children in the class, already bored with the project, begin chasing one another around the stones, pushing and teasing and snapping gum. But Gogol goes from grave to grave with paper and crayon in hand, bringing to life one name after another. He likes these names, likes their oddness, their flamboyance.

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On the ride back to school the rubbings made by the other children are torn up, crumpled, tossed at one another's heads, abandoned below the dark green seats. But Gogol is silent, his rubbings rolled up carefully like parchment in his lap.

At home, his mother is horrified. What type of field trip was this? It was enough that they applied lipstick to their corpses and buried them in silk-lined boxes. Only in America a phrase she has begun to resort to often these days , only in America are children taken to cemeteries in the name of art. What's next, she demands to know, a trip to the morgue? In Calcutta the burning ghats are the most forbidden of places, she tells Gogol, and though she tries her best not to, though she was here, not there, both times it happened, she sees her parents' bodies, swallowed by flames.

Never before has she rejected a piece of her son's art. The guilt she feels at Gogol's deflated expression is leavened by common sense. How can she be expected to cook dinner for her family with the names of dead people on the walls? But Gogol is attached to them. For reasons he cannot explain or necessarily understand, these ancient Puritan spirits, these very first immigrants to America, these bearers of unthinkable, obsolete names, have spoken to him, so much so that in spite of his mother's disgust he refuses to throw the rubbings away.

He rolls them up, takes them upstairs, and puts them in his room, behind his chest of drawers, where he knows his mother will never bother to look, and where they will remain, ignored but protected, gathering dust for years to come. Like most events in his life, it is another excuse for his parents to throw a party for their Bengali friends. His own friends from school were invited the previous day, a tame affair, with pizzas that his father picked up on his way home from work, a baseball game watched together on television, some Ping-Pong in the den.

For the first time in his life he has said no to the frosted cake, the box of harlequin ice cream, the hot dogs in buns, the balloons and streamers taped to the walls. The other celebration, the Bengali one, is held on the closest Saturday to the actual date of his birth. As usual his mother cooks for days beforehand, cramming the refrigerator with stacks of foil-covered trays.

She makes sure to prepare his favorite things: lamb curry with lots of potatoes, luchis, thick channa dal with swollen brown raisins, pineapple chutney, sandeshes molded out of saffron-tinted ricotta cheese. All this is less stressful to her than the task of feeding a handful of American children, half of whom always claim they are allergic to milk, all of whom refuse to eat the crusts of their bread. Close to forty guests come from three different states.

Women are dressed in saris far more dazzling than the pants and polo shirts their husbands wear. A group of men sit in a circle on the floor and immediately start a game of poker.

These are his mashis and meshos, his honorary aunts and uncles. They all bring their children; his parents' crowd does not believe in baby-sitters. As usual, Gogol is the oldest child in the group. He is too old to be playing hide-and-seek with eight-year-old Sonia and her ponytailed, gap- toothed friends, but not old enough to sit in the living room and discuss Reaganomics with his father and the rest of the husbands, or to sit around the dining room table, gossiping, with his mother and the wives.

The closest person to him in age is a girl named Moushumi, whose family recently moved to Massachusetts from England, and whose thirteenth birthday was celebrated in a similar fashion a few months ago. But Gogol and Moushumi have nothing to say to each other. Moushumi sits cross-legged on the floor, in glasses with maroon plastic frames and a puffy polka-dotted headband holding back her thick, chin-length hair.

In her lap is a kelly green Bermuda bag with pink piping and wooden handles; inside the bag is a tube of 7UP-flavored lip balm that she draws from time to time across her mouth. She is reading a well-thumbed paperback copy of Pride and Prejudice while the other children, Gogol included, watch The Love Boat and Fantasy Island, piled together on top and around the sides of his parents' bed.

Occasionally one of the children asks Moushumi to say something, anything, in her English accent. Sonia asks if she's ever seen Princess Diana on the street.

Her dissertation, completed in , was entitled Accursed Palace: The Italian palazzo on the Jacobean stage — She took a fellowship at Provincetown's Fine Arts Work Center , which lasted for the next two years — Lahiri lives in Rome [10] with her husband and their two children, Octavio b. The stories address sensitive dilemmas in the lives of Indians or Indian immigrants, with themes such as marital difficulties, the bereavement over a stillborn child, and the disconnection between first and second generation United States immigrants.

Lahiri later wrote, "When I first started writing I was not conscious that my subject was the Indian-American experience. What drew me to my craft was the desire to force the two worlds I occupied to mingle on the page as I was not brave enough, or mature enough, to allow in life.

Her father's cousin was involved in a train wreck and was only saved when the workers saw a beam of light reflected off of a watch he was wearing. Similarly, the protagonist's father in The Namesake was rescued due to his peers recognizing the books that he read by Russian author Nikolai Gogol.

The father and his wife immigrated to the United States as young adults. After this life-changing experience, he named his son Gogol and his daughter Sonia.