Vikram Seth is an Indian poet, novelist, travel writer, librettist, children’s writer, biographer and memoirist.
During the course of his doctorate studies at Stanford, he did his field work in China and translated Hindi and Chinese poetry into English. He returned to Delhi via Xinjiang and Tibet which led to a travel narrative From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet (1983) which won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award.
The Golden Gate: A Novel in Verse (1986) was his first novel describing the experiences of a group of friends who live in California. A Suitable Boy (1993), an epic of Indian life set in the 1950s, got him the WH Smith Literary Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize.
His poetry includes The Humble Administrator’s Garden (1985) and All You Who Sleep Tonight (1990). His Beastly Tales from Here and There (1992) is children’s book consisting of ten stories in verse about animals.
In 2005, he published Two Lives, a family memoir written at the suggestion of his mother, which focuses on the lives of his great-uncle (Shanti Behari Seth) and German-Jewish great aunt (Henny Caro) who met in Berlin in the early 1930s while Shanti was a student there and with whom Seth stayed extensively on going to England at age 17 for school. As with From Heaven Lake, Two Lives contains much autobiography.
An unusually forthcoming writer whose published material is replete with un- or thinly-disguised details as to the personal lives of himself and his intimates related in a highly engaging narrative voice, Seth has said that he is somewhat perplexed that his readers often in consequence presume to an unwelcome degree of personal familiarity with him.
Author website: http://www.vikramseth.net/
Books in order of publication:
- The Golden Gate (1986)
- A Suitable Boy (1993)
- An Equal Music (1999)
- Mappings (1980)
- The Tale Of Melon City (1981)
- The Humble Administrator’s Garden (1985)
- All You Who Sleep Tonight (1990)
- Beastly Tales (1991)
- Three Chinese Poets (1992)
- The Frog and the Nightingale (1994)
- Summer Requiem: A Book of Poems (2015)
- Arion and the Dolphin (1994)
- From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet (1983)
- Two Lives (2005)
- The Rivered Earth (2011)
Appearances in poetry anthologies
The Golden Treasure of Writers Workshop Poetry. Ed. Rubana Huq. Calcutta: Writers Workshop, 2008.
The Oxford India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets. Ed. Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1992.