Vikram Seth

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  • Topic: Vikram Seth, Novel, The Doon School
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Vikram Seth

Vikram Seth is a famous Indian poet, novelist, travel writer, librettist, children’s writer, biographer and memoirist. He was born on June 20, 1952 in Calcutta, now known as Kolkata. His father, Prem Seth, was an employee of the Bata India Limited shoe company. His mother was the first woman judge of the Delhi High Court, as well as the first woman to become Chief Justice of a state High Court, known as Shimla High Court. His childhood was spent in the town of Batanagar near Calcutta, Patna, and London. He has a younger brother, Shantum, and a younger sister, Aradhana. Seth admits that some of the fictional characters in his novels are “drawn from real life,” in comparison to his parents and siblings. Although discreet at times, he is not secretive about his personal life. He admits that the “I” in many of his poems is in reference to himself. His poems are addressed to both male and female objects. “Some men like Jack and some like Jill…What is my status? Stray? Or Great?” are quotes taken from the poem Dubious, which shows him being open about his sexuality. He attended The Doon School in Dehadrun, where he admits to his “terrible feeling of loneliness and isolation,” during his studies. He also attended Oxford University, where he took his undergraduate degree in philosophy, politics, and economics. He was enrolled at Stanford University, as well as Nanjing University for his intended doctoral dissertation on Chinese population planning. “The Golden Gate” (1986), was his first novel. He has written a travelogue “From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet” (1983). His works in poetry include All You Who Sleep Tonight (1990). He has also written a story book for children Beastly Tales from Here and There (1992).

His acclaimed epic of Indian life, A Suitable Boy (1993), won the WH Smith Literary Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book). A Suitable Boy is the story of several Indian families-the Kapoors,...
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