Friday, July 03, 2009


London, 3 July 2009

In a move which will cheer hundreds of thousands of his fans, Vikram Seth has today announced he is writing a long-awaited sequel to his much-loved million copy bestseller A Suitable Boy, set in India just after Independence. A Suitable Girl will be published by Penguin (UK, India and Canada; the US rights are not yet for sale) in autumn 2013. In Seth’s new book, he will bring the action of the narrative up to the present day, encompassing some of the enormous social and economic changes India has undergone in the last sixty years. Lata, the sparky and rebellious heroine of A Suitable Boy, is now a grandmother, and her grandson is the one in search of a good match.

2013 marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of A Suitable Boy, which was a worldwide sensation. The 1,350 page book sold over a quarter of a million hardbacks and over a million paperback copies in its UK edition. In 2013, Penguin will put the book into its distinguished Modern Classics list and republish the book in paperback. In the intervening years, Penguin will also publish volumes of Vikram’s poems and essays.

Vikram Seth said today, “In India, all my books have for years been published by Penguin. But I am very happy today to be joining foreign colonies of the Flightless One. They have already made me feel very welcome, and I hope in time to hatch many suitable eggs with them.”

Penguin imprint Hamish Hamilton has bought World English Language rights (excluding the US) from Vikram’s agent, David Godwin. This is the first worldwide acquisition by Hamish Hamilton UK, together with its newly formed imprints in Melbourne, Toronto and Delhi.
Hamish Hamilton Publishing Director, Simon Prosser commented, “Since first reading The Golden Gate I have been a devoted follower of Vikram's writing -- as a novelist, poet, memoirist and indeed e-mailer -- so I cannot believe my good fortune in being able to work with Vikram on his next few books, including the sequel to the extraordinary A Suitable Boy. Nothing could delight me more."
I can't begin to describe how elated I feel about this news in from London today. A Suitable Boy, one of the longest novels ever published in the English language, is my most favouite novel of all time and my orginal hardback copy is a treasured possession in my home library. Vikram Seth has been to NZ a couple of times and I had the great pleasure of meeting him on one of those occasions at a dinner organised by John Daly-Peoples in the Auckland suburb of Mt.Eden. Let's hope he might get back here in 2013, for the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival perhaps?

Meantime, my thanks to the folks at Penguin Books, this news has made my day.

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