A Matter of Time

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9780140263909: A Matter of Time

One morning, with no warning, Gopal, respected professor and devoted husband and father, walks out on his family for reasons even he cannot articulate. His wife, Sumi, returns with their three daughters to the shelter of the Big House, where her parents live in oppressive silence: they have not spoken to each other in thirty-five years. As the mystery of this long silence is unraveled, a horrifying story of loss and pain is laid bare--a story that seems to be repeating itself in Sumi's life.

A Matter of Time explores the intricate relationships within an extended family, encompassing three generations. Images from Hindu religion, myth, and local history intertwine delicately with images of contemporary India as the women face and accept the changes that have suddenly become part of their lives. As the women's secrets and strengths are revealed, so are the complications of family and culture, catching each in turn in the cycles of love, loss, and renewal that become essential to her identity.

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About the Author:

Shashi Deshpande has won the most coveted literary awards and is among the most distinguished and widely read writers in her native India. She is also well-known in the U.K. where Virago has published several of her books. None of her 6 novels or 5 short story collections were published in the U.S. before A Matter of Time.

From Kirkus Reviews:

In her first, somewhat charmless book to be published here, Indian writer Deshpande tells a story familiar to readers in the West: a family crisis is triggered when a husband walks out on his wife. Deshpande, the author of 80 stories and seven novels, begins her tale briskly. When Gopal leaves his wife, Sumi, for reasons that are, at first, unexplained, he opens a wound in her through which her familys legacy pours onto the page. While very little actually happens here, dozens of chapters are spent retelling the history of Sumis people. Bearing her husbands sudden and unexpected departure with unexpected fortitude, Sumi relocates herself and her three daughters to the Big House, her family home. Sumis mother, Kalyani, lives there with her husband, Shripati, whose own abandonment of his wife is recalled. Manorama, Kalyanis mother and Sumis grandmother, quietly presides over the unfolding family story, which is rich in abandonments and betrayals. Finally, Aru, one of Sumi's daughters, completes the circle, and it is her fate in the context of her familys historical patterns that provides much of the intrigue. The fragments of this history are often moving, but they seem a loose jumble, lacking the particular flavor of a specific perspective. Given the complexity of Sumis family tree, Deshpandes failure to clearly demarcate her charactersreaders will be hard-pressed to say what any of them actually looks likemakes for a thinly presented present time, through which recollections dart quickly into view. After a tragedy at the close, Gopal suffers an existential crisis of meaning in his life. Aru sends him away, freshly fortified among the women of her family. The concept herethat the patterns of family history sustain the women who are able to confront and cooperate with themis compelling, but the execution, with rare exception, is rather dull. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Penguin Books India, 2000. Softcover. Book Condition: New. An absorbing new novel from the author of That Long Silence and Roots and Shadows When Gopal walks out on her for reasons even he cannot articulate, Sumi returns with their three daughters, Aru, Charu, and Seema, to the shelter of the Big House, where her parents, Kalyani and Shripati, live in a strangely oppressive silence: they have not spoken to each other in the last thirty-five years. As the mystery of this long silence is laid bare, a story that seems to be repeating itself in Sumi?s life? Set in present-day Karnataka, A Matter of Time explores the intricate relationships within an extended family, encompassing three generations of men and women. At the heart of the novel is eighteen-year-old Aru, struggling to understand her father?s ?desertion? and her mother?s ?indifference?, and in the course of a few turbulent months, forging entirely unexpected relationships that are destined to change the course of her life? Deeply unsettling, yet with moments of warmth and laughter, this is Shashi Deshpande at her poignant best. Printed Pages: 256. Bookseller Inventory # 21134

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Book Description Penguin Books India, 2000. Softcover. Book Condition: New. An absorbing new novel from the author of That Long Silence and Roots and Shadows When Gopal walks out on her for reasons even he cannot articulate, Sumi returns with their three daughters, Aru, Charu, and Seema, to the shelter of the Big House, where her parents, Kalyani and Shripati, live in a strangely oppressive silence: they have not spoken to each other in the last thirty-five years. As the mystery of this long silence is laid bare, a story that seems to be repeating itself in Sumi’s life… Set in present-day Karnataka, A Matter of Time explores the intricate relationships within an extended family, encompassing three generations of men and women. At the heart of the novel is eighteen-year-old Aru, struggling to understand her father’s ‘desertion’ and her mother’s ‘indifference’, and in the course of a few turbulent months, forging entirely unexpected relationships that are destined to change the course of her life… Deeply unsettling, yet with moments of warmth and laughter, this is Shashi Deshpande at her poignant best. Printed Pages: 256. Bookseller Inventory # 21134

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 2nd edition. 246 pages. 7.70x5.00x0.50 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 014026390X

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