The return of the irrepressible literary polymath
VIKRAM SETH’s much anticipated biography-cum-memoir of his maternal great-uncle Shanti Behari Seth and German-born great-aunt Henny Caro, Two Lives (2005), will be released on September 12, 2005. Seth’s magnum opus, A Suitable Boy (1993), has the distinction of being the longest novel ever written in English — perhaps India’s War and Peace if ever there was one. In this wrist-breaker of a monumental tome, Seth uses the taboo relationship between a boy and a girl to dissect and explore the conflict between Hindus and Muslims in India. This quintessentially Indian novel is considered a watershed in Indian writing in English, just as Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (1983) was a decade earlier.
SETH Vikram [1952-] Novelist, poet, memoirist. Born in Calcutta, India. NOVELS An Equal Music (1999); A Suitable Boy (1993: winner of the 1994 Commonwealth Writers Prize); The Golden Gate: A Novel in Verse (1986) NONFICTION From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet (1983: winner of the 1983 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award) MEMOIR Two Lives (2005: shortlisted for the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography) POETRY The Poems, 1981-1994 (1995); Beastly Tales From Here and There (1991); All You Who Sleep Tonight (1990); The Humble Administrator’s Garden (1985); Mappings (1980) TRANSLATED Three Chinese Poets (trans. from the Chinese) (1992)