A Suitable Boy is Vikram Seth's epic love story set in India. Funny and tragic, with engaging, brilliantly observed characters, it is as close as you can get to Dickens for the twentieth century. The story unfolds through four middle class families: the Mehras, Kappoors, Khans, and Chatterjis. Lata Mehra, a university student, is under pressure from her mother to get married. But not to just anyone she happens to fall in love with.
"A wonderful drama"
Two Lives is both a history of a violent century seen through the eyes of two survivors and an intimate portrait of their friendship, marriage, and abiding yet complex love. Part biography, part memoir, part meditation on our times, this is the true tale of two remarkable lives, a masterful telling from one of our greatest living writers.
"A slow start but keeps getting better"
In An Equal Music, his first novel since A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth returns with a story both intricate and intimate, rich with music, art, humour, and emotion. On one level, it is a story about love, love of a woman lost and found and lost again....A chance sighting on a London bus, a letter which should not have been read, and a pianist with a secret that touches the heart of her music....Creating the illusion of life, it is a book about music.
Two Lives tells the remarkable story of Vikram Seth's great uncle and aunt. His great uncle, Shanti, left India for medical school in Berlin in the 1930s and lodged with a German Jewish family. In the household was a daughter, Henny, who urged her mother "not to take the blackie". But a friendship developed and each managed to leave Germany and found their way to Britain as the Nazis rose to power.
Michael is a violinist from Rochdale. He plays in a trio in Vienna with Julia, a pianist, and they are much taken with each other. But the trio splits up and they go their separate ways. One day in London, from the top of a double-decker bus, Michael catches a glimpse of Julia. They eventually meet up, and she tells him that she is contentedly married and has a child. Michael persuades her to visit Vienna and Venice with him. He discovers that Julia has become deaf, though her deafness comes and goes.