JMRL’s Ninth Annual Big Read: “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri

Jefferson-Madison Regional Library invites all readers to participate in an exciting program that will be held during March 2015. JMRL is partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts in The Big Read.

The Big Read concept is simple: to have as many people as possible in our community reading the same book at the same time. This year’s book is “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Big Read 2015 brochure cover with Jhumpa Lahiri.The Namesake book cover.

What’s in a name? For Gogol Ganguli, American-born of Bengali parentage bearing a Russian writer’s surname, this question is neither easily answered nor easily dismissed. Lahiri’s understated exploration of identity and cultural assimilation in “The Namesake” illuminates for us all the question “Who am I?” while bringing alive the colors, flavors, and textures of immigrant Indian life in America.

JMRL will be hosting many free community events and discussions about the book, as well as other Indian-themed events, at all library branches. The schedule of events for the Big Read can be found at

Photo of powdered Holi Festival colors.

Don’t miss the Big Read Holi Festival Finale on Saturday, March 28 at 11:30 a.m. The finale will take place at Pen Park, Shed #2. Holi is the spring Indian festival of color. Celebrate by playing with powdered colors (prepare to get messy!) with music, dance, crafts, and food. A pot luck is strongly encouraged. The rain date for this event is Saturday, April 4.

The National Endowment for the Arts launched The Big Read after a survey in 2004 showed a decline in the reading of literature. Less than half of American adults read literature, according to the report. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest. The Big Read is supported by the Art and Jane Hess Fund of the Library Endowment.

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