Vikram Seth

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Vikram Seth is a novelist, poet, and travel writer from India who is best known for his epic novel “A Suitably Boy.” He has been writing for over three decades and is widely considered as one of the most important writers of our time. Vikram Seth was born in Kolkata, India, and attended some of the country’s premier schools before pursuing higher education in England. Before pursuing a literary career, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Corpus Christi College in Oxford and a master’s degree in economics from Stanford University in the United States. His first book, a collection of poetry named ‘Mappings,’ did not receive much notice, but his second book, ‘From Heaven Lake,’ detailed his voyage from China to India and received a lot of attention. His novel ‘The Golden Gate,’ published in 1986, established him as one of the most acclaimed novels of his generation, garnering praise from both readers and reviewers. His novel ‘A Suitable Boy,’ however, launched him into the ranks of the most well-known novels of his period, and it is still his most recognized work. The novel is one of the longest in the English language and is considered a modern classic because of the wide range of issues it covers.

Childhood and Adolescence

Prem Seth and his wife Leila Seth gave birth to Vikram Seth on June 20, 1952, in Calcutta (now renamed Kolkata), West Bengal, India. His father worked for the Bata shoe firm as an executive, and his mother worked as a judge. He was the eldest of three children born to his parents.

He attended St. Michael’s School in Patna, St. Xavier’s School in Patna, and The Doon School in Dehra Dun. He then relocated to England, where he completed his A-Levels at Tonbridge School.
He studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, after graduating from high school, and received a B. A. degree in 1975. He studied for his Ph.D. at Stanford University in California from 1975 to 1986.

Career of Vikram Seth

He was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in the field of creative writing at Stanford University in the United States, and it was during this period that he wrote the poems that were published in his first book, ‘Mappings,’ in 1980. The novel was not well received by critics.

He was in China for his field research from 1980 to 1982. He went extensively throughout China collecting information for a doctoral dissertation that he never completed. He studied ancient Chinese poetry and language at Nanjing University while in China. ‘From Heaven Lake,’ his second book, was published in 1983. It detailed his hitchhiking adventure from China to India. His work was recognized as a result of the book’s critical praise. In 1985, he published ‘The Humble Administrator’s Garden,’ another collection of his poems.

His novel ‘The Golden Gate,’ released in 1986, was remarkable in that it was written entirely in verse and focused on the lives of people in Silicon Valley. Eugene Onegin, by Aleksandr Pushkin, was the inspiration for the novel. The novel was well-received, and he received numerous honors from the literary community.

In 1990, he published ‘All You Who Sleep Tonight,’ a book of poetry, and in 1992, he published ‘Three Chinese Poets,’ a collection of poems.
Seth wrote a children’s book called ‘Beastly Tales from Hera and There’ in 1992, in which he authored ten stories about animals.

In 1993, he published his most famous work, the epic novel ‘A Suitable Boy,’ which deals with the complexities of post-independence familial arrangements. India. The novel is one of the longest books ever published in a single volume in the English language, with 1349 pages.

In 1994, he published another collection of poems, titled “The Frog and the Nightingale.”
His novel ‘Equal Music’ was published in 1999. Michael, a professional violinist, and Julia, a pianist, are at the center of the plot. The novel was highly welcomed by music aficionados, who praised Vikram Seth’s depictions of music for their realism.

‘Two Lives,’ his second nonfiction book, was published in 2005. It’s the story of Shanti Behari Seth, his great uncle, and Hennerle Gerda Caro, his German Jewish great aunt.

He’s currently working on ‘A Suitable Girl,’ the sequel to ‘A Suitable Boy,’ which could be released in 2016.

Major Projects of Vikram Seth

‘A Suitable Boy,’ his novel, is without a doubt his most important effort as a writer. It is one of the longest English-language novels ever written, and it deals with national political issues in the run-up to India’s first post-independence national election in 1952.

Achievements & Awards

For his work ‘The Golden Gate,’ he received the Sahitya Akademi Award, an Indian literary honor, in 1985.
He was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 2001.
He was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honor, in 2007.

Personal History and Legacy

Vikram Seth is openly gay and has a long-term relationship with Philippe Honore, a French musician and violinist.

Vikram Seth Net Worth

Vikram Seth is one of the wealthiest poets and one of the most well-known. Vikram Seth’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.