The Ever After of Ashwin Rao

The Ever After of Ashwin Rao

A Novel

Paperback - 2015
Average Rating:
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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 life, The Ever After 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 Air India Flight 182 from Vancouver, two suspects are--finally--on trial for the crime. Ashwin Rao, an Indian psychologist trained in North America, 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 that remains unable to escape the undertow of the tragedy. As Ashwin finds himself less and less capable of providing the objective advice this particular family seeks, his surprising emotional connection to them pushes him to face his own losses. The Ever After 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.
Publisher: Berkeley, CA : Soft Skull Press, an imprint of Counterpoint, [2015]
ISBN: 9781593766139
1593766130
Characteristics: pages ; cm

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Bierlingen Jan 12, 2015

Am currently reading this book and am appreciating the gentle way of how the aftermath of this tragedy has been fictionalized. Truly a learning process about the politics that were the catalyst behind the mentality of the perpetrators that incurred this senseless act of terrorism, something so far away from many of our own lives. Truly a Canadian tragedy, Viswanathan has created believable characters, some coming to terms with their torment of the aftermath, others not so easily. I highly recommend this book.

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indigo33
Sep 07, 2014

Interesting, subtle; I had to think about this one a long time afterward to understand the emotional tides and currents of the characters. So much is left unsaid! When you read this book, be prepared to scratch beneath the surface. Although the topic is heart-breaking I appreciated that the author left a light on at the end of the tunnel.

w
writermala
Jul 04, 2014

Padma Viswanathan explores the territory of the aftermath of the Air India Bombing. She raises the question of how life goes on when tragedy strikes. The Protagonist Ashwin is a psychologist who is gifted at turning the fragments of his patients' lives into stories that help them heal. This is the power of narrative. Viswanathan's writing has great energy, and she understands what makes her characters tick and exploits this understanding to the fullest. She suggests that with time, 329 times infinity becomes the magnitude of what had happened, that was the size of it. It is a colossal loss which renders itself to a story of emotions, drama, and empathy - all of which the author handles well.

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