Books from the Shelf of A Suitable Boy: Vikram Seth

Books by Vikram Seth

Vikram Seth is an Indian novelist, poet and travel writer. His writing has received several prestigious and renowned awards such as Padma Shri, Sahitya Academy Award, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, WH Smith Literary Award, Crossword Book Award, Commonwealth Writers Prize, Commonwealth Poetry Prize, Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and many others. Mappings and Beasty Tales is Seth’s poetry collection which have been considered as the notable contributions to the Indian English.

If you are looking for the books by Vikram Seth, the following books are the top most that should be added first in your reading list- 

A Suitable Boy

This epic writing sold over one million copies worldwide despite being 1,349 pages long and holds the recognition of being the longest single volume ever published in the English language.
In A Suitable Boy, he turned to prose which depicts relations between Indian families. It’s the story of a young girl, Lata, and her search for a husband.
Compelling narrative and great length led to the critical comparisons to many eminent authors like Leo Tolstoy, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Honoré de Balzac, and Charles Dickens. A Suitable Boy won the WH Smith Literary Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize.

The Golden Gate

Golden Gate is the first novel which describes the experiences of a group of friends living in California. It’s the novel of popular culture.  In the work, Seth successfully harnesses contemporary situations to a demanding 19th-century form; the young professional characters discuss nuclear weapons, Roman Catholic teachings on homosexuality, and the perils of overwork.

All You Who Sleep Tonight: Poems

In All You Who Sleep Tonight Seth explores into the varieties of love. Varieties of love include love lost, remembered, and deferred. He beautifully evoked the unspeakable ironies of Auschwitz and the light-blasted streets of Hiroshima. Throughout the poem, he displays the lyricism and attentiveness that distinguishes this poem for every era.
Seth gives joy by writing brilliantly well and unafraid to feel and to start us feeling.”

Few lines from the poem –

“All you who sleep tonight
Far from the ones you love,
No hand to left or right
And emptiness above.

Know that you aren’t alone
The whole world shares your tears,
Some for two nights or one,
And some for all their years.”


Mappings is a first poetry book of Vikram Seth and it presents readers with the work written in Seth’s twenties, when he was a student in England and later, California. These poems enchant and impress with classical learning, wit, perceptiveness and lyricism.
The poems are some serious and some light-hearted based on life, love and landscape.

An Equal Music

An Equal Music is a powerful and deeply romantic story of two professional musicians, Michael Holme and Julia McNicholl. It is a book about love, about the love of a woman lost and found and lost again
The book confirms Vikram Seth as one of the world’s finest and most enticing writers as the book is poetic, evocatively written and brilliantly portrayed with the international music scene.
A novel that can be read and reread.

From heaven lake

From Heaven Lake is the story of his remarkable journey and Vikram Seth encounters with nomadic Muslims, Chinese officials, Buddhists and other. These encounters are at the time when Vikram Seth is returning from China to his home in Delhi after completing his post-graduation.
The book depicts many of the scenes from Hitch-hiking, walking to slogging through rivers and across leech-ridden hills. By breaking away from the reliable routes of organized travel, Seth transformed his journey into an unusual and intriguing exploration of one of the world’s least-known areas.


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