(c) 2005-2007 Oliver Bonten
This is the story of a Bengali born in America in the 1960s, shortly after his parents moved there from their native Calcutta (the father is a Ph.D. student at that time, and later becomes a professor). Unaccustomed to American customs and regulations about names, they accidentally name the boy "Gogol" after his father's favourite author.
When Gogol and his sister grow up, the typical conflicts in immigrant families arise: their parents have a strong identity as Indians and stick to Indian traditions and values, while the kids grow up as Americans and quickly find their Indian background limiting.
Particularly, Gogol suffers from having a name that he (but apparently only he) finds ridiculous. But with his first girlfriends, and particularly later when his father suffers a heart attack, he finds that he cannot detach completely from his Indian background.
It is a very interesting book for anyone interested in migration and cross-cultural issues. And I believe that integration of immigrants is one field where the U.S. is far ahead of continental Europe.
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