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The tags of the question got me to thinking a bit broadly about the connection. I think that a really nice complement to what Lahiri brings out in The Namesake is what Mukherjee attempts to illuminate in The Management of Grief. Whereas Gogol's journey is positive and affirming in its exploration of self, Mukherjee provides a more challenging and complex element in Shaila's narrative. In both works, the protagonist must explore both their own cultural identity and psychological notion of self in order to make better sense of the fundamental question of who they are and what they shall do. For Gogol, this is more of the standard narrative of emerging into self, becoming comfortable in one's own skin. Yet, Shaila's exploration is more nuanced and more complex in terms of recognizing who she is having lived in the "skin" dictated by others for so long. The cultural exploration of Gogol is complemented with a spiritual and psychologically probing one in Shaila. It might be really interesting to see how this dynamic emerges in reading Mukherjee's work as complementing what Lahiri offers.
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