Latha Viswanathan has worked as a journalist, editor, copywriter and teacher in India, London, Manila, Montreal, Toronto and the United States. She now lives and writes in Houston.
Fiction (Short stories)
Lingering Tide: And Other Stories
Toronto: TSAR Publications, 2011.
e-book (Access restricted to members of the Toronto Metropolitan University community)
Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)
These poignant stories finely depict the lives of immigrants, through the themes of family adjustment, loss, and starting afresh in a new place. Set in suburban Toronto, New Jersey, Texas, and India, they draw out the conflicts in three generations of Indians whose lives interconnect even as they straddle the old and the new. What we sense is both the anguish of loss and the thrill of discovery.
Viswanathan’s quiet prose imparts powerful emotions that ring true, and her rendering of cultural clash is truly skillful and nuanced. The depiction of her characters’ interior lives is so full and vital that they breathe and walk off the page. The reader is drawn in and completely absorbed into her world of transitions.
Detroit: Aquarius, 2018.
Temples is a rich, subtle novel of extraordinary beauty. Set in Tamil Nadu, Temples tells the story of Sathya, an archaeological curator whose life has been dedicated to restoring and preserving the rare, and ecstatically beautiful temple reliefs. When an act of violence occurs at one of his sites, Sathya gradually discovers that he has completely misunderstood the culture that he has worked his entire life to protect. Mixed in to Sathya’s story are those of his great niece, Cookie, visiting him from America; his neighbor, “Mr. Awesome,” who bemoans the dramatic change in India; George and Claudia, two American missionaries whose work enrages local Hindu nationalists; and different stories, as told in the temple reliefs, from the Bhagavad Gita.
Temples explores cultural change and misunderstanding, and the inability of easily classifying a culture or people, shedding a provocative light on contemporary India.