Padma Viswanathan set her book in a fictional pseudo-Nelson called Lohikarma. Her book The Ever After of Ashwin Rao was recently long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Viswanathan long-listed for Giller

The Ever After of Ashwin Rao, which features a fictionalized Nelson town called Lohikarma, is eligible for $100,000 prize.

Internationally acclaimed author Padma Viswanathan, who earlier this year released her novel The Ever After of Ashwin Rao and came through Nelson to do a reading, has been long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

“It is a wonderful and wonderfully unexpected list, with many writers—even lauded ones—relatively early in their careers. A person could do worse than munching through this diverse and intriguing list for the next few months! And, of course, I’m very honoured to be included this company,” Viswanathan told the Star.

The announcement came along with other exciting news: the prize money has been doubled this year.

“When we started this prize 21 years ago with the assistance of Mordecai Richler, David Staines and Alice Munro, the intent was to highlight and reward Canadian fiction authors,” said Jack Rabinovitch, in a press release dated September 16.

“The award then was $25,000.00 and we had a great deal of help from Canadian book sellers. Now with the warm and unique partnership with Scotiabank and its entire executive group, we are able to achieve this objective in a manner we never thought possible. Canadian storytellers deserve this recognition. I can hardly imagine what Doris would say.”

The prize purse will double to $140,000, with $100,000 going to the winner and $10,000 to each finalist, which makes the Scotiabank Giller Prize the richest fiction prize in Canada.

Viswanathan’s novel follows Ashwin Rao, an Indian psychologist trained in Canada, as he attempts to complete a study of comparative grief by interviewing people who lost a loved one to the Air India terrorist attacks of 1985.

It takes place in a fictional Nelson called Lohikarma, complete with local landmarks such as the man-sized grotesque on Front Street and the big orange bridge.

The 12 titles were chosen from a field of 161 books, submitted by 63 publishers from every region of the country.For a full list of the nominees, click here.

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