The Toss of a Lemon

AUTHOR: Padma Viswanathan
FORMAT: Paperback
EXTENT: 640 pages
SIZE: 235 x 155 mm
ISBN: 9781921401305
RIGHTS: Australia and New Zealand
CATEGORY: Fiction, Padma Viswanathan, Padma Viswanathan,



Padma Viswanathan

Inspired by the author’s family history, The Toss of a Lemon is an epic saga that takes the reader deep into the private world of a Brahmin family, bringing to life an India we’ve never seen.

At the novel’s heart is Sivakami, married at ten, widowed at eighteen. As her caste requires, her head is shaved and she wears widow’s whites, and from dawn to dusk she cannot contaminate herself with human touch, not even to comfort her two small children.

She dutifully follows custom, except for one defiant act: She returns to her husband’s house to raise those children. Her servant, Muchami, bound by a very different set of caste rules, becomes her public face, and their singular bond holds three generations together through a turbulent half-century of social and political change.


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Praise for The Toss of a Lemon:

The Toss of a Lemon is a captivating novel that in relating the story of one Indian woman and her family tells the story of a changing society. Precisely and deftly written, constantly interesting, morally serious yet sympathetic – I challenge any reader to start reading this book and give up on it. It joins the company of the great novels on India.


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