For the September meeting, we read books by Vikram Seth.
Vikram Seth was born in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) India in June 1952. He was schooled in India and England; at Oxford University, UK; Stanford University USA and Nanjing University China. He spends time now-a-days in both England and in India.
His books are:
The Golden Gate (1986)
A Suitable Boy (1993)
An Equal Music (1999)
Two Lives (2005)
Details of his books and poetry can be found at:
Collectively, we read the last three books, although not all of us finished the 1,500 page long ‘A Suitable Boy’.
Seth writes from different aspects of his cultures and ancestry. ‘A Suitable Boy’ is set in India just after the partition of Pakistan and India. The four families in the book are of Hindu and Muslim religions but maintain friendships. The main theme is of arranged marriages. ‘An Equal Music’ is set within the professional violin classical music world, set in London. ‘Two Lives’ is a biography of the marriage of Seth’s great uncle and aunt who were of Indian and German Jewish heritage.
We discussed again the theme of who can be described as an Indian author, noting that Seth draws upon not just his Indian culture but also those of which he has lived experience. He writes of family, life and love. Our main critique is that the novels were good reads for the intended audience of English-speaking readers and that his books could have been improved by a good editor.