28 February, 2021

Shadowy Treatment

Where stitches come undone

Shadowy Treatment
THAT women mostly write about women is an accusation routinely levelled at women writers. An unfair and baseless argument, seeing that all writers write about what they know best—be it mice, money, men or as in Shashi Deshpande's case—women. Life for many women in India is a ghetto. And it's only when ghettoes are written about that confining walls begin to break. Deshpande's novels perform that function.

A housewife with degrees in economics, law and journalism, Deshpande has a feel for the complex etchings of a woman's mind. Over a writing career of almost two decades, Deshpande's novels—Roots and Shadows, That Long Silence, The Dark Holds No Terrors, among others—have been a strident voice speaking of the Indian woman's struggle to carve out an identity of her own—autonomous of, yet never rejecting traditional social roles.

But Deshpande's latest title—A Matter of Time—is an aberration. Always competent if not an inspired writer, she has faltered in this...

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