Thursday, September 30, 2004

Yes...yes, indeed

Excerpt from Jhumpa Lahiri's "The Namesake"

At the end of the breakwater, there was a field of yellow reeds to the right, and dunes beyond, and the ocean behind it all. He had expected his father to turn back, but still they had continued, stepping onto the sand. They walked along the water to the left, heading toward the lighthouse, past rusted boat frames, fish spines as thick as pipes attached to yellow skulls, a dead gull whose feathery white breast was freshly stained with blood ... He heard his father cry out — they had left the camera with his mother. “All this way and no picture,” he’d said, shaking his head. He reached into his pocket and began to throw the striped stones into the water. “We will have to remember it, then.” They looked around, at the gray and white town that glowed across the harbor. They started back again, for a while not trying to make an extra set of footsteps, inserting their shoes into the ones they had just made. A wind had picked up, so strong that it forced them to stop now and then.

“Will you remember this day, Gogol?” his father had asked, turning to look back at him, his hands pressed like earmuffs to either side of his head.

“How long do I have to remember it?”

Over the rise and fall of the wind, he could hear his father’s laughter. He was standing there, waiting for Gogol to catch up, putting out a hand as Gogol drew near.

“Try to remember it always,” he said once Gogol had reached him, leading him slowly back across the breakwater, to where his mother and Sonia stood waiting. “Remember that you and I made this journey, that we went together to a place where there was nowhere left to go.”


1 comment:

Ellen said...

I loved the book too! Highly recommended.