Padma Viswanathan

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Padma Viswanathan (born 1968 Nelson, British Columbia)[1] is a Canadian playwright and fiction writer.


She graduated from University of Alberta, and received an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University in 2004 and an MFA from the University of Arizona in 2006.

Her short stories have appeared in Subtropics, New Letters, PRISM international, Boston Review, and Malahat Review.

She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with her husband, the poet/translator Geoffrey Brock, and their two children.


Her story "Transitory Cities" won the 14th annual Boston Review Short-Story Contest in 2007, judged by George Saunders.

Her novel The Ever After of Ashwin Rao was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

In 2017 she won Arkansas's Porter Prize.


Short stories[edit]

  • "Transitory Cities". Boston Review. 22 June 2012.
  • "The Barber Lover". AGNI Online. 15 April 2023.
  • "Better Protect America". Granta. March 2017.



  • "House of Sacred Cows," originally produced by Northern Light Theatre in Edmonton and later published in the volume Ethnicities: Plays from the New West (1999)
  • "By Air, By Water, By Wood", Frog and Nightgown Productions 2000, published South Asian Review, 2008

Radio plays[edit]

  • "Disco Does Not Suck", CBC Radio, 1999


  • Anne Nothof; Padma Viswanathan; Marty Chan; Jonathan Christenson (1999). Anne Nothof (ed.). Ethnicities: Plays from the New West. NeWest Press. ISBN 978-1-896300-03-0.



In the introduction to her stunning first novel, Padma Viswanathan describes her grandmother’s faltering attempts to recount their family history. “This time, she started farther back,” she writes of one occasion, “with a story I’d never heard: of her own grandmother, married as a child and widowed before she was out of her teens; of that grandmother’s son, childless and embittered; and her daughter, my grandmother’s mother, victimized by her marriage.” After trips to India, enormous amounts of research, and not a little invention, the result is The Toss of a Lemon.[3]


  1. ^ Elizabeth Lumley, ed. (2003). Canadian Who's Who 2003. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-8865-9.
  2. ^ "São Bernardo".
  3. ^ Daniel Baird (April 2008). "Book Review: The Toss of a Lemon". The Walrus.

External links[edit]