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Deshpande, Shashi

novels women india life

(Indian, 1938– )

Born in Dharwar, Shashi Deshpande has lived all her life in India, where she studied economics and law and brought up a family. One of the most important novelists writing in modern India, Deshpande has now published seven novels, four children's novels, and four collections of short stories. Deshpande's best novel is That Long Silence (1988) which tells the story of Jaya and her need to find a space for herself when the security of her domestic life collapses around her. It is a thoughtful, moving novel, rather than a page-turner, and will strike a chord with many women readers. Instead of being overtly political, it follows the tradition of novels by women established by Charlotte Brontë and Virginia Woolf, giving value to the private spaces of women that are so often dismissed in the public sphere.

Anita Desai, Penelope Lively.

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