Shashi Deshpande's autobiography a window to the shaping of a writer's sensibility
New Delhi : The just-released autobiography of one of the most celebrated authors of our times, Shashi Deshpande, provides a deep and personal account that elaborates on the shaping of a writers sensibility.
Titled "Listen To Me", it is published by Context, an imprint of Westland publications, and is billed as "an examination of the life and times in which Shashi Deshpande wrote her finest works".
"Shashi Deshpande's name is synonymous with Indian writing in English. Everyone you know has read her. Deshpande's novels, with their assertive and modern themes, are as urgent today as when they were first published. Yet, little is known about her. She is famously reticent.
"In ‘Listen to Me', Deshpande opens up about her life and work. She writes about being a writer and a feminist, and the shaping of these selves. She draws us into her world: growing up in Dharwad as Kannada litterateur Shriranga's daughter, moving to Bombay as a student, figuring out her identity as a newly married woman, and negotiating the unfamiliar world of Indian publishing-and always, always her love of reading. As she talks about influences, detractors and challenges, the genesis of her own work shines through," Westland said in a statement.
The publisher added that this book is not a fight to claim a piece of public memory, and definitely not an act of self-aggrandisement.
"It is an acute observation of an eventful era in Indian literature and history, and a micro-history of Deshpande's own engagement with it, through her certain and uncertain recollections. With its chiselled prose and honest self-knowledge, it revitalises that most delicate of endeavours: the writerly memoir."
Shashi Deshpande is the daughter of one of the greats of Kannada literature, Sriranga. Her books have for long been a subject of academic study. She has been awarded the Padma Shri and has won the Sahitya Akademi award.