What I'm reading
The Namesake. By Jhumpa Lahiri.
This story of immigration, assimilation and cultural dislocation really drew me in. For Indian-Americans, it will be explicitly significant, but as a Polish-American whose father was raised abroad and who moved up the economic ladder and changed classes, I shared the where-do-I-belong disorientation. The conflicting pulls of loyalty, love, duty and desire are rendered with great subtlety. The seductions of the New York life called my name some decades ago. What's most remarkable is her ability to present characters with sympathy but not indulgence. Gogol's wife makes awful choices. The names change, but the immigrant story remains as fresh and relevant as it has in America for centuries, literally.