We are very fortunate to be hosting a book launch for Padma Viswanathan's new book, The Ever After of Ashwin Rao. Padma is a fiction writer, playwright and journalist from Edmonton, Alberta. Her writing awards include residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Banff Playwrights’ Colony, and first place in the 2006 Boston Review Short Story Contest. She received her Creative Writing MA from Johns Hopkins and her MFA from the University of Arizona, and lives with her family in here in Fayetteville. Many of you will have read her first novel, The Toss of a Lemon.
The book has only been released in Canada so far, so this will be your only chance to locally hear Padma read from the book and also have the opportunity to purchase a copy. We have ordered many copies, but this can be our only order until the book has a US release, so consider reserving a copy.
"From internationally acclaimed New Face of Fiction author Padma Viswanathan, a stunning new work set among families of those who lost loved ones in the 1985 Air India bombing, registering the unexpected reverberations of this tragedy in the lives of its survivors. A book of post-9/11 Canada, The Ever After of Ashwin Rao demonstrates that violent politics are all-too-often homegrown in North America but ignored at our peril.
In 2004, almost 20 years after the fatal bombing of an Air India flight from Vancouver, 2 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 lost loved one in the attack. What he neglects to mention is that he, too, had family members who died on the plane. Then, to his delight and fear, 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."