These poignant stories finely depict the lives of immigrants, through the themes of family adjustment, loss, and starting afresh in a new place. Set in suburban Toronto, New Jersey, Texas, and India, they draw out the conflicts in three generations of Indians whose lives interconnect even as they straddle the old and the new. What we sense is both the anguish of loss and the thrill of discovery.
Viswanathan's quiet prose imparts powerful emotions that ring true, and her rendering of cultural clash is truly skillful and nuanced. The depiction of her characters’ interior lives is so full and vital that they breathe and walk off the page. The reader is drawn in and completely absorbed into her world of transitions.
"Viswanathan's debut collection--set in locales as diverse as India, Texas, and Canada--comprises twelve masterfully told tales. . .The stories are brimming with compelling and complex characters. . .The strongest story is by far the titular "Lingering Tide," whose tight and sparing narrative illuminates the 45-year marriage of Surya and his late wife Uma." —Publisher's Weekly
"Whether she is writing about North America or India, a middle aged musician or a young boy, Latha Viswanathan's prose is unfailingly vivid, tender and intelligent, full of sensual details and pungent insights. Lingering Tide is a lovely, generous collection.” —Margot Livesey, author of Criminals
“Viswanathan writes so incisively and so intensely and so beautifully about what she refers to as this life, this moment, that readers owe her a debt almost even before they have read a single word. Her stories focus with lazer-like intensity on our shape-shifting culture and, as they do so, define it.” —Alan Cheuse author of The Grandmother's Club
“I have read a number of works by Indian or Indian-American writers and find Latha’s among the best. She has such a sympathetic but unsparing view of the interface between two cultures, and an eye for detail that draws the reader in immediately and is also rather eye-opening. I especially like the women’s voices— the mothers, and the parents, in fact. I especially loved the voice in ‘Cool Wedding.’ And beside being touching, these stories are often so funny.” —Diane Johnson, author of Le Divorce
Latha Viswanathan has worked as a journalist, copywriter, editor and teacher in India, London, Manila, Montreal, Toronto and the United States. These stories have appeared in major American literary magazines and won awards. Her work received a grant from the Texas Commission of the Arts in Fiction, was published in Best New Stories from the South and broadcast on National Public Radio. She currently lives and writes in Houston.