The Ever After of Ashwin Rao
In 2004, almost 20 years after the fatal bombing of an Air India flight from Vancouver that killed 329, two suspects --finally--are on trial for the crime. Ashwin Rao, an Indian psychologist trained in Canada, comes back to do a "study of comparative grief," interviewing people who lost loved ones in the attack. What he neglects to mention is that he, too, had family members who died on the plane. Then, to his delight and fear, he becomes embroiled in the lives of one family caught in the undertow of the tragedy, and privy to their secrets. This surprising emotional connection sparks him to confront his own losses. A book of post-9/11 Canada, The Ever After of Ashwin Rao imagines the lasting emotional and political consequences of a real-life act of terror, confronting what we might learn to live with and what we can live without.
"This often droll, fiercely intelligent novel with its cat's-cradle of a plot challenges the twin deadly lures of religious fundamentalism and racism, revealing the learning and unlearning at the core of the immigrant experience." Scotiabank Giller Prize jury citation
"Provocative and compelling." Chatelaine
"This book illuminates the national tragedy of Flight 182 and the ways in which loss change family landscapes." Toronto Star
"More than a memorial to the victims and the bereaved, The Ever After of Ashwin Rao charts how people navigate their anguish." The Georgia Straight
"An important book--one that deserves to find international recognition. Pondering our unexamined prejudices might be deeply uncomfortable but it is absolutely necessary." The Globe and Mail