Sunday, September 13, 2015

Book #37: The Namesake

And now for a book that has been sitting on my shelf ever since it came out in paperback about 10 years ago. I'm not quite sure how I could forget I had an unread Jhumpa Lahiri, because I love her work.

She typically explores cross-cultural themes, like figuring out who we are independent of where we come from. Usually her main characters are from India living in the United States or vice verse.

As I read, Lahiri's writing kept tapping into that place in me that is hungry to know and experience how other people live. Then about half way through the book, I slammed headlong into this passage:

"She has the gift of accepting her life; as he comes to know her, he realizes that she has never wished she were anyone other than herself, raised in any other place, in any other way. This, in his opinion, is the biggest difference between them."

I am more like him than her. There are so many good things I appreciate about my life, but I confess I am a restless soul.

Maybe there is a part of me that is Hindi, like most of the characters in this book. I am not so enamored with the idea of life after death (perhaps I just lack imagination?), but the idea of starting fresh and living more than one life here on earth totally appeals to me.

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