Author of 'The Namesake' to appear at WestConn

DANBURY, CONN. — Jhumpa Lahiri, author of “The Namesake,” will discuss her book at Western Connecticut State University at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5.

“The Namesake” is the inaugural book selection of “One Book, One Community” (OBOC), an effort to encourage everyone in Danbury to read the same book this fall. Although many communities across the U.S. sponsor similar reading programs, this project is one of the few where a city, public school system and a university have formed a partnership to coordinate a community-wide reading initiative.

The Danbury Public Library and Danbury Public Schools joined WestConn to create and sponsor the program. Lahiri will speak in Ives Concert Hall, which is in White Hall on the Midtown campus, 181 White St., Danbury, Conn.

“The Namesake” chronicles several generations of a family from India after a young couple immigrates to Massachusetts to start a new life. WestConn has assigned the book to all incoming freshmen as part of the university’s First-Year Experience. More than 100 books are available to check out at the Danbury Library or may be purchased at local bookstores.

Lahiri will discuss “The Namesake” in a conversational interview with Dr. John Briggs, WCSU professor of writing, linguistics and the creative process. Lahiri also will take questions from the audience. The event is free and open to the public.

The “One Book, One Community” project will culminate in March 2009, with the WCSU President’s Lecture Series featuring the acclaimed director of “The Namesake” movie, Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding” and “Vanity Fair”).

Several other events have been scheduled, including book discussions, an Indian film series, a presentation on spices by Suvir Saran, co-owner of Dévi Restaurant in New York City, and a talk by actress/author Madhur Jaffrey.

Jhumpa Lahiri received the Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for “Interpreter of Maladies,” her debut short story collection that explores issues of love and identity among immigrants and cultural transplants. Published in 2003, “The Namesake” is her first novel. Her most recent work, “Unaccustomed Earth,” is another collection of short stories published in April 2008.

Funding support for the OBOC project is provided by Branson Ultrasonics Corp, FRIENDS of the Danbury Library, Savings Bank of Danbury and Union Savings Bank.

For more information, call the WCSU Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486 or the Danbury Library Community Relations office at (203) 796-8061.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.



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