Despite choosing to study Economics, Vikram Seth eventually (and fortunately) found his true calling (or métier as he likes to call it himself) in writing. To date his work includes poetry, travelogues, novels, librettos, children stories and autobiography.
His wide ranging interests, gift for languages, bisexuality and the experiences he gained living in India, England and America (amongst other places) all combine to provide him with a huge well of creativity to tap for the multiple themes and subjects of his books and the thoughts, relationships and feeling that bring his characters so vividly to life.
Mappings (1980), a collection of poetry, was his first published work, followed by his travelogue From Haven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet (1983). The combination of poetry and prose in The Golden Gate (1986) launched him to a wider audience, before A Suitable Boy confirmed once and for all the quality of Seth's talent.
As a great lover, or presenter, of music, Seth was perfectly poised to compose the tragic love story An Equal music. Music played such a huge role in this novel (inspired by Seth's relationship with the violinist Philippe Honoré) that Decca released a compilation of the music featured within its pages.
But Seth's love for music isn't confined to just the written word: he also composed the libretto Arion and the Dolphin for the English National Opera and has worked with Alec Roth, most notably on Songs in Time of War (2008), a musical transposition of the Chinese poet Du Fu (712-770). Even more recently, Seth's The Golden Gate has been transposed by Conrad Cummings into an opera.
text by Erik de Loor / translation by Will Georgi / drawing by Ytje