Study Guide

The Namesake Characters

By Jhumpa Lahiri

Nikhil/Gogol Ganguli

All right, dude. Which is it – Gogol or Nikhil? We're getting a little tired of all the...

Ashima Ganguli

Gogol's mother Ashima is the heart of the story. While the other characters don't show a lot of...

Ashoke Ganguli

As fathers go, Ashoke is one of the good ones. We never see him losing his temper with Gogol, or...

Moushumi Mazoomdar

How can Shmoop put this delicately? Let's just say, it's easy to dislike Moushumi. A bit...

Sonali (Sonia) Ganguli

Sonia, Gogol's little sister, is born around the time that Gogol enters kindergarten. Right from...

Dimitri Desjardins

Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you the home wrecker. We jest, we jest. In the end, it's Moushumi...

Maxine Ratliff

Just out of architecture school, Gogol is working in New York City when he meets Maxine at a...

Gerald and Lydia Ratliff

Maxine's parents Gerald and Lydia Ratliff are the polar opposites of Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli....

Graham

Graham, a rich investment banker, is Moushumi's ex-fiancé whom she meets while both of...

Astrid and Donald

Astrid is one of Moushumi's best friends from Brown, and is married to Donald, an artist. They're...

Ruth

Ruth is Gogol's first serious girlfriend, but their relationship doesn't last long in terms of...

Ghosh

Ghosh is a businessman that Ashoke meets on the fateful night of his train accident in 1961. With...

Ben

Ben is Sonia's fiancé, whom we meet at the end of the book. We don't know much about him,...