Indians Abroad

Vikram Seth

Famous As Novelist, Poet, Travel Writer and Biographer
Born In 20June 1952
Born On Kolkata
Nationality Indian

He rocked the literary scene with his monumental love story 'A Suitable Boy', and eighteen years hence, Vikram Seth continues to bask in the glory of the same fame. From professionalizing his passion for writing to churning out a slew of international bestsellers, the feats of Seth in the domain of literature are in no way infinitesimal. However, if you thought that writing was his only forte, you are in for a big surprise. This polyglot can write and speak as many as eight languages including Welsh, French, Mandarin, Urdu, German, Devanagari, Hindi and English and is quite a pro when it comes to playing the Indian flute and cello. From demonstrating historical accuracy in 'A Suitable Boy' to depicting Californian yuppies in 'The Golden Gate', Seth's reach and range is extensive. Well-traveled and well read, Vikram Seth is indeed a writer of different genius, which makes him so loved among his readers.

Early Life
Vikram Seth was born June 20, 1952 in Kolkata, India. His father Prem Seth was an executive in Bata India Limited and his mother Leila was the first woman judge of Delhi High Court and the first woman Chief Justice of State High Court in Shimla. Leila gave her law exams when she was pregnant with Vikram Seth's younger brother and gave birth to child just a few weeks after her exams. Although born in India, Vikram Seth spent some of his early years in London. However, he returned to India in 1957 and completed his primary education from The Doon School in Dehradun. For his higher studies, he returned to UK and joined the Tonbridge School. He later went to Corpus Christ College, Oxford where he studied philosophy, economics and politics. The beautiful years spent in this college not only earned him a degree, but also helped him to explore his interest in poetry and writing. From then he worked towards poetry and other forms of writing. He even enrolled for Ph.D. in Stanford University but could never complete it because of his inclination towards writing. Having lived in London for many years, he love the people and culture of the country. That was why he bought a residence near Salisbury, UK. He also owns a home in Delhi where he stays with his parents and maintains an extensive library and his vast paper works.

The world famous writer and poet Vikram Seth is well known for his some of his noted works. Vikram Seth possesses the art of creating a living and breathing world that keeps the readers focused and engaged. Vikram Seth has published six books of poetry and three novels. In 1986, Vikram Seth wrote 'The Golden Gate', his first novel. The publication of 'A Suitable Boy', the 1,349-page mega novel propelled Seth into the public limelight. 'A Suitable Boy' won the W.H.Smith prize in 1993. 'An Equal Music' by Seth published in 1999 deals with the troubled love life of a violinist. For his contributions to literature, Vikram Seth has received several top honors. The award of the commander of the order 3 of the British Empire was given to Seth on February 2001. Vikram Seth's work 'Two Lives' published in 2005 is a memoir of the marriage of his great uncle and aunt. His upcoming novel 'A Suitable Girl' is set to release in 2013.

Vikram Seth has written some very fine poems as well. His poetry includes 'Mappings' (1980), 'From Heaven Lake' (1983), 'The Humble Administrator's Garden' (1985), 'All You Who Sleep Tonight: Poems' (1990) and 'Three Chinese Poets' (1992). His children's book, Beastly Tales from Here and There '(1992) consists of ten stories about animals. Vikram Seth has also authored a travel book, 'From Heaven Lake: Travels through Sin kiang and Tibet' (1983). It is an account of a journey through Tibet, China and Nepal. Vikram Seth was also commissioned by the English National Opera to write a libretto based on the Greek legend of Arion and the Dolphin. The opera was performed for the first time in June 1994.

1952: Vikram Seth was born in Kolkata.
1983: He received Thomas Cook Travel Book Award for his work "From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet".
1986: Wrote is first novel "The Golden Gate".
1985: He won Common Wealth poetry Prize for "The Humble Administrator's Garden".
1994: Received Common Wealth Writers Prize for "A Suitable Boy".
2007: Received Padma Shri from Indian government for his service in literature.