On 20th June 1952 India witnessed the birth of a legendary novelist and poet, Vikram Seth. He hails from the “City Of Joy”, Kolkata, West Bengal and completed his alma mater from Patna, Bihar. He attended an Indian elite school in Patna and then graduated from Corpus Christi, Oxford. He also did a master’s degree in Economics from Stanford University in the U.S in 1978. Vikram Seth inherited genes of intelligence and uniqueness from his family as his father was a businessman and his mother Leila Seth was the “First Woman Judge to Delhi High Court” and also “First woman Chief Justice Of a State High Court” in India.
Vikram Seth has extraordinary 8 poetry books and 3 novels in his name. The notable work of his includes “A Suitable Boy”, “The Golden Gate” and “An Equal Music”. The poetic side of Vikram Seth is inscribed in “Mappings and Beastly Tales. Vikram Seth’s first novel was The Golden Gate: A novel in verse and it has almost 690 rhyming tetrameter sonnets which account for more than 7000 lines. This novel is basically based on the experience of a group of friends living in California. A Suitable Boy written in 1993 depicts relations between 4 Indian families and a girl, Lata’s search for a husband. Equal music is also a romantic work depicting the not so good love life of a violinist.
The poetry collection of Vikram Seth includes “The Humble Administrator’s Garden”, “All you who sleep Tonight” and “Summer Requiem”. The above mentioned second poetry is a sharp humorous piece about dark issues such as Auschwitz and Hiroshima but the latter one includes translations of work of Chinese, German and Hindi poets. Vikram Seth frames sentences in such a way that it appeals to children as well as adults. He also authored a travel book “Heaven Lake: Travels through Sinkiang and Tibet”. Recently published work of Vikram is “Two Lives” based on the marriage of his great uncle and aunt.
Vikram Seth is accoladed with many prestigious National as well as International awards. He received Padma Shri, Sahitya Academy Award, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman. WH Smith Literacy Award and the Crossword Book Award. Vikram also commissioned by English National Opera to write a libretto. In 2013 he was mentioned as one of The Greatest Global Living Legends In India and was made a commander of the Order of the British empire in 2001. So all the Booklovers out there must read his unique work of novel in verses.