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A Time to DancePadma Venkatraman

Padma Venkatraman - To Dance AgainVeda, a young Indian girl, seems well on her way to becoming one of the best Bharatanatyam dancers of her time when a tragic accident leaves her disabled. Forced to make do with a crude prosthetic leg because her family cannot afford a state-of-the-art prosthesis, Veda remains determined to dance with the same power and beauty as she once did. Her struggles bring her close to two very different men – a young Indian artist and an American doctor – both of whom help and support her dream. But neither they nor anyone else can help her battle the insistent ghost pain in her phantom limb. And Veda learns that to overcome her physical disability, she must discover a source of strength within herself and reach deep into the spiritual aspect of her dance. 

Padma Venkatraman was born in Chennai, India, and became an American citizen after attaining a Ph.D. in oceanography from The College of William and Mary. She conducted research at Johns Hopkins University and other institutes before becoming a full time author. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, Climbing the Stairs, received multiple honors, among them a Booksense Notable citation, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, a New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age, Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year, Booklinks Best New Book, and a Booklist Best Book of the Year. Her second novel, Island's End, will be released in August 2011 and has received starred reviews in Kirkus, School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. Padma Venkatraman lives with her family in Rhode Island.

Published in May 2014 by Nancy Paulsen Books at Penguin.


"In Venkatraman's delectably scented, sensual world, lyrically told through verse and through Veda, life is illuminated as a beautiful celebration of doing what comes naturally, as best as one is able. The acclaimed author of Climbing the Stairs, Venkatraman deftly shapes readers' comprehension of physical ability into a new arc of understanding. Set against a cardamom, melted butter, and semolina sojji-wafted landscape, the novel's emotional expression and accompanying music impel the reader to share Veda's belief that 'Shiva dances everywhere. In everyone. In everything.'"
—Booklist, Starred Review

Praise for Island's End

"A lovely novel...offering an enticing blend of mystic tradition and imaginative speculation"
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Vividly written and expertly paced ... a moving story that will stay with readers long after the end."
—School Library Journal, Starred Review

"Consistently engrosses...refreshingly hopeful and beautifully written."
—Kirkus, Starred Review

Praise for Climbing the Stairs

"Venkatraman makes a memorable debut with this lushly evoked novel set in India during World War II…This novel vivifies a unique era and culture as it movingly expresses how love and hope can blossom even under the most dismal of circumstances…"
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"In her first novel, Venkatraman paints an intricate and convincing backdrop of a conservative Brahmin home in a time of change…"
—Booklist, Starred Review

"A welcome addition to the small but growing body of historical fiction about growing up female in India…This novel excels in its detailed depiction of a Brahmin girlhood and family life during a time of intense social and political change…"
—Kirkus, Starred Review