book cover of The Toss of a Lemon

The Toss of a Lemon

(2008)
A novel by

 
 
In a fiction debut to rival The God of Small Things, Padma Viswanathan gives us a richly detailed and intimate vision of an India we've never seen.

Inspired by her family history, Padma Viswanathan brings us deep inside the private lives of a Brahmin family as the subcontinent moves through sixty years of intense social and political change. At the novel's heart is Sivakami, a captivating girl-child married at ten to an astrologer and village healer who is drawn to her despite his horoscope, which foretells an early death-depending on how the stars align when their children are born. All is safe with their daughter's birth, but their second child, a son named Vairum, fulfills the prophecy: by eighteen, the child bride Sivakami is a widow with two young children.

According to the dictates of her caste, her head is shaved and she must don the widow's white sari. From dawn to dusk, she is not allowed to contaminate herself with human touch, not even to comfort her small children. She dutifully follows custom, except for one act of rebellion: she insists on a secular education for her troubled son. While her choice ensures that Vairum fulfills his promise in a modernizing India, it also sets Sivakami on a collision course with him. Vairum, fatherless in childhood, childless as an adult, rejects the caste identity that is his mother's mainstay, twisting their fates in fascinating and unbearable ways.

The Toss of a Lemon is heartbreaking and exhilarating, profoundly exotic and yet utterly recognizable in evoking the tensions that change brings to every family's doorstep. It is also the debut of a major new voice in world fiction.

Genre: General Fiction

Praise for this book

"The Toss of a Lemon joins the company of the great novels on India." - Yann Martel


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Used availability for Padma Viswanathan's The Toss of a Lemon

Hardback Editions

September 2008 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Toss of a Lemon
Author(s): Padma Viswanathan
ISBN: 0-15-101533-3 / 978-0-15-101533-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Harcourt
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


April 2008 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Toss of a Lemon
Author(s): Padma Viswanathan
ISBN: 0-307-35632-9 / 978-0-307-35632-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Canada
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

September 2009 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Toss of a Lemon
Author(s): Padma Viswanathan
ISBN: 0-547-24787-7 / 978-0-547-24787-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Mariner Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


June 2009 : Paperback
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Title: The Toss Of A Lemon
Author(s): Padma Viswanathan
ISBN: 9380032439 / 978-9380032436
Publisher: Tranquebar Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


March 2009 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Toss of a Lemon
Author(s): Padma Viswanathan
ISBN: 0-307-35633-7 / 978-0-307-35633-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


2008 : USA Paperback

Title: THE TOSS OF A LEMON
Author(s): Padma Viswanathan
ISBN: 0-15-101343-8 / 978-0-15-101343-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Harcout, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   


Audio Editions

October 2017 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Toss of a Lemon
Author(s): Padma Viswanathan
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon   


October 2017 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Toss of a Lemon
Author(s): Padma Viswanathan
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

March 2010 : Canada Kindle edition
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Title: The Toss of a Lemon
Author(s): Padma Viswanathan
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Availability: Amazon CA   


September 2009 : UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Toss of a Lemon: A Novel
Author(s): Padma Viswanathan
Publisher: Mariner Books
Availability: Amazon UK