A Memoir of Friendship and True Crime

Padma Viswanathan was staying on a houseboat on Vancouver Island when she struck up a friendship with a warm-hearted, working-class queer man named Phillip. Their lives were so different it seemed unlikely to Padma that their relationship would last after she returned to her usual life. But, that week, Phillip told her a story from his childhood that kept them connected for more than twenty years.

Everyone knows that the teller tells the tale, but master tellers also know how the tale tells them, exacting a toll.  Padma Viswanathan is a born teller, a master reporter, a master senser, and indeed this may be her masterpiece. The tale she tells is a doozie, but so has been its toll, and her reader will experience the rare, sometimes heartrending privilege of partaking in both.

— Lawrence Weschler, Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Love

Learn more

Book Cover Image

Recent News and Thoughts from Padma

The translator, translated

I’ve been gratified beyond measure by the attention in Brazil to my translation of a Brazilian god, including letters from academics and journalists starting nerdy discussions with me on fine points–my happy place! An unexpected development has been media coverage ……
read more

Photo: Alex Tran

Padma Viswanathan is the author of two novels, a book length translation, and numerous short works of fiction and nonfiction. This is her official web site.

Check out Padma's resources for book clubs