A Suitable Boy
by Vikram Seth

Seth.SuitableBoyCenters around four families in post-Partition India, about both family matters and the surrounding social environment. Very well written.  About 1450 pages, the longest novel ever published in one volume, but so easy to read!

Opening paragraphs“You too will marry a boy I choose,” said Mrs. Rupa Mehra firmly to her youngest daughter.

Lata avoided the maternal imperative by looking around the great lamp-lit garden of Prem Nivas.  The wedding-guests were gathered on the lawn.  “Hmm,” she said.  This annoyed her mother further.

“I know what your hmms mean, young lady, and I can tell you I will not stand for hmms in this matter.”

Quotes from critics: “a vivid tapestry of Indian life in the 1950s…[Seth’s] characters are captivating …They linger in the mind like old friends” (People); “This novel, so vast and so amiably peopled, is a long, sweet, sleepless pilgrimage to life.” (The Guardian); Vivid, evocative and beautifully written, A Suitable Boy casts its net far and wide across the country…The cast of A Suitable Boy is as vast and various as that of any 19th century novel.” (Literary Review)

Bio:  Vikram Seth (1952- ) is an Indian novelist and poet who lives in England.  He has a graduate degree in economics and has studied many languages— including Welsh, German, French, and Mandarin.  As a self-identified bisexual, he is a leader in the campaign to repeal laws against homosexuality.  His first novel is written in 590 sonnets.