Author Vikram Seth writing "A Suitable Boy" sequel

Thu Jul 2, 2009 3:55pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Indian poet and novelist Vikram Seth is writing a sequel to his acclaimed, monumental story "A Suitable Boy" to be titled "A Suitable Girl."

Penguin imprint Hamish Hamilton bought the English language rights to the new novel, excluding the United States, from Seth's agent David Godwin, and expects it to be published in 2013, 20 years after the original book.

Asked why he was returning to his best-known work, which sold more than a million copies in its UK paperback edition despite being more than 1,300 pages long, he replied:

"I think it's just that I suddenly got the idea not of taking up the story in 1952 where I had left it, but rather to take it up in the present.

"In other words, not just a sequel but to write what you could call a jump sequel," he told Reuters in an interview.

In A Suitable Boy, the central character is the young and rebellious Lata whose mother attempts to find her a husband.

The family saga is played out in post-independence India, and examines the traditions and political and religious upheavals of the time.

In A Suitable Girl, Lata is 75-80 years old and looking for a wife for her grandson, "whether he is thinking about it or not," Seth said.   Continued...