The Ever After of Ashwin Rao

Padma Viswanathan's 2014 novel was shortlisted for the 2014 Giller Prize.

Padma Viswanathan

In 2004, almost 20 years after the fatal bombing of an Air India flight from Vancouver that killed 329, 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 lost loved ones 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. A book of post-9/11 Canada, 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. (From Vintage Canada)

Read an excerpt | Author interviews

From the book

"Please excuse: poetic lapse. I orient by smell. The night-scent excited me as I locked my door and ascended, then stopped, descended and re-entered the flat to check again: taps off, windows locked, no food anywhere. I don't normally second-guess this way - I have many neuroses, just not this one - but I would be away in Canada for a year. I would leave my key with a fellow resident but didn't want to leave her a reason to use it."

From The Ever After of Ashwin Rao by Padma Viswanathan ©2014. Published by Random House Canada.

Author interviews

Padma Viswanathan, Giller finalist, reads from her nominated novel The Ever After of Ashwin Rao and describes the moment she thought she didn't make the cut. 2:00