Woof. I have no idea. I’ve basically given up on trying to understand those kind of larger aesthetic patterns, to be honest. All I can do is hold my own feet to the fire.
But I agree with you, obviously. Here’s hoping the rest of your book club hated FSB, too.
My agent and I are about to put a book proposal out into the world. Cross them fingers: it’s non-fiction, and it’s going to be so great.
“I remember that kid blankness,” she says, reached by phone in Toronto. “The information comes, and you have no emotional template into which to fit it. It was as though the bombing made me so aware of the vast realms of human psychology that I had no access to.”
At school, Viswanathan had been intrigued by uprisings such as the Communist Revolution in Russia. “But this seemed so random. So vicious. I couldn’t understand it as a political act, at the time.”
This week’s column is a profile of Padma Viswanathan, whose new novel, The Ever After of Ashwin Rao, takes a hard fictional look at the Air India bombing and the unlikely connections that we make in the wake of tragedy.
I liked talking with her a lot. For one thing, she confirmed the legitimacy of this photo—her parents used to rent paintings from the EPL back when she was a kid. For another, she currently lives not in Toronto or Brooklyn, but Arkansas. Which means she automatically jumps five notches in my books.