Summer Reading Books, Ranked – MA Chronicle

AS English III juniors follow the story of Gogol, an Indian of American origin who struggles with his identity, torn between two worlds. As he ages, his battles with his “Indian self” (Gogol) and his “American self” (Nikhil) become more complex. It’s a story that explores the importance of being a second-generation American, the extent of family obligations, and whether we should let go of those obligations to form our own identities.

Student grade: B

“I liked Lahiri’s writing style – it was different, but still engaging. I didn’t like the main character. The book is relevant to the class. We have a lot of assignments about it and we let’s talk about it a lot. Alex Chan

My grade: C+

The pace of the book was terribly slow. Lahiri takes readers through Gogol’s life from birth to adulthood, and she certainly takes her time. I can understand delving into the main character’s internal struggles with her identity, but I really don’t need to hear a detailed explanation of every piece of furniture in the house or what sari Gogol’s mother is wearing that day . Still, I couldn’t bring myself to to hate this book. There are a lot of Indian-Americans in the country today, but I haven’t seen many books written about the intersection between the two cultures. As a half-Indian person, I loved seeing aspects of Indian culture and experiences (which were painfully relatable at times) woven throughout the book.

Goodreads Rating: A-

“While this book has been hailed for its exploration of the immigrant experience, like any great piece of literature, its lessons are universal…Anyone who has ever been ashamed of their parents, felt guilty of duty, questioned questions his own identity. , or fallen in love, will identify with these intertwined lives. – Anna

“The almost constant adherence to stereotypes of Indians immigrating to America like engineering->Ivy League->repeats itself, along with every other gender/family/socio-economic stereotype known to mankind? Considering the fact that one of the main reasons I read as much as I do is to find a breakdown of these popular culture norms, I was rather disappointed.”- Aubrey

About Marcia G. Hussain

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