Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Reviews of Padma Viswanathan's The Toss of a Lemon

On Thursday, October 25, 2013, Padma Viswanathan will read at 6:00 p.m. in the RJ Wills Lecture Hall.  Viswanathan will discuss her debut novel The Toss of a Lemon as well as read from newer work. 

Here's what a sample of reviewers have to say about The Toss of a Lemon.

Viswanathan's book, like Rushdie's work, aims for epic status. But it actually achieves something that is in many ways more nuanced than the broad brushstrokes of an epic: a meditation on fate's workings in a family dominated by the quiet rule of one woman — and the struggle of her son against the strictures of her belief.” —Washington Post

“[A] stunning first novel... The brilliance of The Toss of a Lemon rests not so much in its intricate plotting as in the compressed, poetic precision with which Viswanathan depicts a lost world.” —The Walrus

“Despite the saga’s length, there are no dull moments or extraneous scenes. Most impressively, Viswanathan immerses readers in the realities of the caste system from both sides; in telling a universal story of generational differences on a personal level, she makes a vanished world feel completely authentic. Superbly done.” —Booklist

“Marriage at 10, in 1896, then motherhood at 14 and four years later a widow’s white sari — these are the determining events in the life of a Brahmin girl called Sivakami, the main character in [this] ambitious first novel... Padma Viswanathan has real talent.” —The New York Times

Starred Review: “The portrait she paints is dazzling. Gender rules, class relations, and the political castes of late 19th- and early to mid-20th-century India are well presented, making this an important work of historical fiction. Highly recommended for all collections.” —Library Journal