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Mike Collett-White writing for Reuters:
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.
Incidentally, Vikram Seth had come out prominently to "support the overturning of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a colonial-era law dating to 1861, which punitively criminalizes romantic love and private, consensual sexual acts between adults of the same sex"
Post Script: It’s wonderfully good, humane, says Vikram Seth
Ian Jack, while making a perfectly valid point in the Telegraph about how the method of choosing Oxford’s Professor of Poetry needs a radical rethink, tells this delightful story:
... I made the mistake of publishing a 13-word poem by Vikram Seth called “Sampati”, about the eponymous character in the Ramayana who, like Icarus, flies too near the sun. We added this information in an epigraph and footnote to the poem, without telling the poet, and Vikram was so furious that he made us publish the poem again in a later edition minus its informative dressing. This took up more space than you might think for a thirteen-word poem, because every word had a line to itself apart from “un-done”, which took up two.It is just for these sort of things that I have always liked Vikram Seth. Now I like him even more. As for the headline and the contents of this post, well, maybe you do need to read more about the poets Walcott and Padel and Arvind Krishna Mehrotra
We were only trying to help the ignorant reader, but we were definitely in the wrong. After all, how many footnotes does T.S. Eliot have? (Not enough.)