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Padma Viswanathan

Padma Viswanathan is a novelist, playwright, journalist and translator who was born in Edmonton, Alberta. Viswanathan received an MA in Creative Writing in 2004 from Johns Hopkins University where her thesis was entitled Rooftop, Promenade. She also has an MFA from the University of Arizona. She now lives in Arkansas and is an Associate Professor in fiction-writing and literature in the Programs in Creative Writing and Translation at the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville.

Ever After of Ashwin Rao book cover


The Ever After of Ashwin Rao

Toronto: Random House of Canada, 2014.
PS8643 .I89 E94 2014

Publisher’s Synopsis

In 2004, almost twenty years after the fatal bombing of an Air India flight from Vancouver, two suspects –finally–are on trial for the crime.  Ashwin Rao, an Indian psychologist trained in Canada, comes back to do a “study of comparative grief,” interviewing people who have lost loved ones in the attack.  What he neglects to mention is that he, too, had family members who died on the plane.  Soon, he becomes embroiled in the lives of one family caught in the undertow of the tragedy, and privy to their secrets.  This surprising emotional connection sparks him to confront his own losses.  The Ever After of Ashwin Rao imagines the lasting emotional and political consequences of a real-life act of terror, confronting what we might learn to live with and what we can live without.

Awards and Honours

2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize (Finalist)


The Toss of a Lemon

Toronto: Random House of Canada, 2008.
PS8643 .I89 L44 2009

Publisher’s Synopsis

Inspired by her family history, Padma Viswanathan brings us deep inside the private lives of a Brahmin family as the [Indian] subcontinent moves through sixty years of intense social and political change. At the novel’s heart is Sivakami, a captivating girl-child married at ten to an astrologer and village healer who is drawn to her despite his horoscope, which foretells an early death–depending on how the stars align when their children are born. All is safe with their daughter’s birth, but their second child, a son named Vairum, fulfills the prophecy …

Awards and Honours

2009 Commonwealth Book Prize –Best First Book–Canada and Caribbean Region (Shortlisted)
2008 First Novel Award (Finalist)

Anthology (Short stories)

Her Mother’s Ashes 3: Stories by South Asian Women in Canada and the United States

PS8329.1 .H45 2009

Viswanathan, Padma. “The Wild Unknown Country.” In Her Mother’s Ashes 3, edited by Nurjehan Aziz. Toronto: TSAR, 2009, [75]-78.

Anthology (Drama)

“House of Sacred Cows”

In Ethnicities: Plays From the New West, ed. Anne Nothof. Edmonton: NeWest Press, 1999.

PS8315.5 .P73 E83 1999


Padma Viswanathan personal website

Publisher Random House of Canada

Publisher NeWest Press