The term identity crisis gains a contour in this novel "That Long Silence". It is the story of Jaya, the housewife who is seen always engaged in searching her own identity. Set typically against the Indian backdrop "The Long Silence" raises that eternal question whether woman lives for them or for someone- their husband or children.
Shashi Deshpande was born in Dharwad, Karnataka
in the year of 1938. In the childhood she completed her education in Karnataka after completing the preliminary stage she shifted to Mumbai for further study and then again move back to Bengaluru
to do the law. She currently lives in Bangalore with her husband who is pathologist. She holds degrees in economics, law and English literature. She is the daughter of Sriranga, a famous Kannada dramatist and Sanskrit scholar. According to Shashi Deshpande herself, she did not make a conscious decision to be a writer but stumbled into being one out of boredom. Shashi wanted to express her feelings about the society and its various aspects and this was the perfect platform to make the reader aware of any burning issues. Her novels are deeply rooted in India and this is the specialty of her writing. The characters, settings, and the conflicts, are inherently Indian. Above all, she is a storyteller. Her short stories have been widely anthologized throughout the country. Shashi Deshpande also won the Sahitya Akademi Awards
for her novel `That Long Silence`.
`That Long Silence` is an acclaimed novel by Shashi Deshapande. In this story the author reveals an intriguing picture of an ordinary middle class educated woman. The name of the protagonist is Jaya who lives with her husband Mohan and two children Rahul and Rati. The story entirely revolves around jaya her married life and her role as a dutiful wife. She plays the role of an affectionate mother, dutiful to her in-laws and her relatives. It gives a simple enchanting scenes solely expressed by the author. According to the author husbands don`t give attention to wives emotions, likes and dislikes. The author expresses the emotion with vivid details like that of lovemaking, relationship with children, etc. She reflects her lifestyle, her role clarity, is she living for her or for someone else, etc. Through out the story she is engaged in searching her identity as an individual. In this story one situation arises when husband and wife`s relation was given an offbeat. Two individuals though very intimate but couldn`t relate each other in terms of feelings or understanding. Many married women might find some instances similar in their every day lives after reading the story. Author has done a good job in expressing intimacy. Sexual feelings are expressed in its natural tone.
`That Long Silence` is published by one of the famous publishing house named Vigaro Pr in the month of June 1988.
`That Long Silence` by Shashi Deshpande is based in the context of contemporary Indian writing in English, Deshpande is one of the most understated yet confident voices, who explores individual and universal predicaments through the female psyche.