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Indian Subcontinent
The Toss of a Lemon
 
 
Author
Padma Viswanathan.
Publisher Houghton Mifflin  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.25 x 1.45 inches
ISBN 9780151015337
Pages/Publication Date 619/2008
Daedalus Item Code 12205
This item is not available.
Description
Married at ten, widowed at 18, left with two children, Sivakami adheres to her Brahmin heritage in this debut novel by journalist and playwright Padma Viswanathan, inspired by her grandmother's stories and set against the upheavals of Indian culture in the early and mid-20th century. Sivakami wears widow's whites, shaves her head, and touches no one from dawn to dusk; over the next 60 years she ventures outside her family compound only three times. Yet the decisions she makes in her daughter's marriage and her son's education twist the family's fate in unexpected, sometimes heartbreaking ways.

"Viswanathan renders these developments—changes in marriage laws, for example—in simple, often beautiful language, with details that intersect subtly with the enormous cast of Sivakami's extended family and their friends. Viswanathan prefaces The Toss of a Lemon with an epigraph from the great Indian novel Midnight's Children, by Salman Rushdie. 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

 
 
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