The Way Things Were

3.62 based on 213 ratings & 36 reviews on

Publication date: 12.02.2015
ISBN: 9781447272731
Number of pages: 0


Skanda's father, Toby, has died, estranged from Toby's mother and from the India he loved. Skanda is tasked with fulfilling Toby's final wish and returning his ashes to his birthplace. It is a journey that takes him from Manhattan to Delhi, and deep into the story of his family: in particular, to a night three decades earlier, when an act of shocking violence forced his parents' fragile marriage apart.
Set at flashpoints in 1975, 1984, 1992 and the present day, THE WAY THINGS WERE shows how our most deeply personal stories are shaped by ancient history and volatile politics; how the life of a country and the life of an individual are irrevocably entwined. Spanning three generations, it is at once intimate and panoramic, with a thrilling ambition that places it alongside such masterpieces as A SUITABLE BOY and A FINE BALANCE.

In the media

An ambitious state-of-the-nation novel about the role of history in a contested present . . . Taseer . . . sensitively undercuts the seductions of nostalgia.
Sunday Times
A formidable mix of the personal and the political . . . Taseer's wide and analytical perspective has something in common with contemporaries Amit Chaudhuri and Neel Mukherjee, but his style - at once highly intellectual and deeply poetic - is unique . . . The Way Things Were is a substantive contribution to new writing from the subcontinent.
Intensely engrossing . . . What [Taseer] has done with great intelligence and elegance is to deliver a novel of ideas in the guise of a very human story.
Financial Times