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A Matter of Time

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  120 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The New York Times Book Review called Shashi Deshpande's U.S. debut, "austere, philosophical, and rich; a work that . . . grows in moral force and pathos." Deshpande's critical acclaim in India—including three top literary prizes—prefigured the wide recognition abroad of this pivotal novel, now available in paperback.

One morning, with no warning, Gopal, respected professor
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by The Feminist Press at CUNY (first published June 1st 1999)
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Syl. A.k.a Topo di biblioteca
This book deals with the lives of 4 women - a mother and her 3 daughters who are deserted by their husband/father. Gopal and Sumi were a happily married couple, when one day, Gopal suddenly leaves his wife and 3 teenage daughters with no due cause. The children are stunned and try to cope with their loss in various ways, while the mother is curiously apathic. Then the story slowly unfolds, showing us glimpses of past, present and occasionally the future. The deserted family comes to their matern ...more
Claire S
Really liked this.. Even though it was very dense reading, with each paragraph almost having multiple references to other characters or other events that had happened and so on. And there were a lot of characters involved in the story. So much so, I had to make a chart of who was who. And then start again with a better chart structure, as the first one didn't have enough capacity for it all. That second one worked though, I was able to find the characters mentioned and re-orient myself as necess ...more
Feb 13, 2014 Ritu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A matter of time is an honest, emotionally retrospective & complex book, mostly because it explores human relationships. It feels like you are standing in the middle of a room full of people.. with this web of interwoven connections, & you're still just a spectator.. an island in all that chaos & complexity. The reason why relationships work or don't is hard enough to pin down, but you relate to it.. the constant questioning, the guilt, the soul searching.. it's all so believable &am ...more
Mar 26, 2016 Neha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Out of habit, I scanned through Amazon and Goodreads reviews of this book before purchasing it. A recurring theme of all its reviews is two-pronged: too many characters; marvellous writing. With bittersweet pride, I have to agree that is correct.

Shashi Deshpande's book, for one, begins at a different kind of starting point. Most storylines tend to start at the happy facade, veer into the sad twist, and thereon, chart a way forward. A Matter of Time begins, however, at the beginning that matters
Oct 21, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The sheer number of characters can be overwhelming and the plot drags a little, but A Matter of Time has a lot to offer. It promotes a feminist message but manages to humanize the absentee father, all the while packing an emotional punch.
Anuradha Mohankumar
An impressive account of human relations. This is the first to,e I read a book written by Shashi Deshpande but this is definitely not the last. Highly recommended.
Mar 18, 2008 Pavithra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is an intense interiority to Deshpande's books as Ritu Menon puts it. There is no marketable quality or any magical round up to a story which in my opinion is applaudable. She is clearly not writing for an audience but she is writing realistically, genuinely. She surpasses many writers I have read in the recent past in terms of her profound insight into "regular" "normal" characters lives. Most profound of all is her ability to capture the essence of relationships and dive so deep into it ...more
Feb 14, 2014 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OH my--yes--I liked this book. I think Ritu's review says it all. I would highly recommend this book and really think it deserves 4.5 stars! I felt at moments my emotions were stretched to the limits--so many profound thoughts/statements were gleaned--absolutely a book I could relate to.

This is my first experience with Shashi Deshpande and my library had to search the entire State to locate a copy at the University library for me to borrow. I would like to check out a couple of her children's bo
Jun 11, 2014 Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good. I found most of the characters to be highly relatable (though I did have to draw a family tree of all the relationships). And the way the plot weaved in and out of the past was so well-done: it overshadowed the book's "present," which was fine.
My only problem was the final two chapters. I didn't particularly mind Shripati's death, it made some contextual sense. But Sumi' feels too much like "The Awakening" or "Hedda Gabler." Or a few other books I've read where a woman gains he
Apr 09, 2016 Phredric rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I got about 80 pages in but I can't make myself interested in the story or the characters. The writing is slow and overly detailed. I am a bit distracted these days so I may give this another go when I'm in a better frame of mind.
multigenerational misery
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Deshpande's works 1 4 Jan 10, 2014 10:49AM  
  • Story-Wallah: Short Fiction from South Asian Writers
  • God's Little Soldier
  • Topi Shukla
  • Gem in the Lotus: The Seeding of Indian Civilisation
  • Leaving India: My Family's Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents
  • The Last Jews of Kerala: The 2,000 Year History of India's Forgotten Jewish Community
  • Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures
  • The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism
  • The Guardian Angels
  • The Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of the New India
  • Games Indians Play: Why We Are the Way We Are
  • May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons: A Journey Among the Women of India
  • Strange Son
  • Naphtalene: A Novel of Baghdad
  • A Golden Age
  • Home
  • The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay
  • David's Story
Novelist and short story writer, Shashi Deshpande began her career with short stories and has by now authored nine short story collections, twelve novels and four books for children. Three of her novels have received awards, including the Sahitya Akademi award for `That Long Silence'. Some of her other novels are `The Dark Holds No Terrors', `A Matter of Time', `Small Remedies', `Moving On', `In T ...more
More about Shashi Deshpande...

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