Two Lives
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Two Lives : A Memoir

By (author) Vikram Seth

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Widely acclaimed as one of the world's greatest living writers, Vikram Seth -- author of the international bestseller A Suitable Boy -- tells the heartrending true story of a friendship, a marriage, and a century. Weaving together the strands of two extraordinary lives -- Shanti Behari Seth, an immigrant from India who came to Berlin to study in the 1930s, and Helga Gerda Caro, the young German Jewish woman he befriended and later married -- Two Lives is both a history of a violent era seen through the eyes of two survivors and an intimate, unforgettable portrait of a complex, abiding love.

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  • Paperback | 503 pages
  • 134.6 x 198.1 x 27.9mm | 430.92g
  • 01 Jul 2006
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • New York, NY
  • English
  • 0060599677
  • 9780060599676
  • 161,499

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Review quote

"Irresistible... Another triumph for one the most versatile and engaging of all contemporary writers... An immensely moving narrative."--Kirkus Reviews (starred)

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Customer reviews

well worth reading

Two Lives is a memoir written by international best-selling author, Vikram Seth. In this interesting and engaging book, Seth writes about his great uncle Shanti Behari Seth (Shanti Uncle), born in Biswan, and his German Jewish great aunt, Hennerle Caro (Aunty Henny), born in Berlin, describing them as two exiles who found their home in each other. Using interviews with his uncle as well as letters, photographs and official documents, Seth builds up a comprehensive image of the lives of two people he held dear. But as with his travelogue, From Heaven Lake, this also contains commentary on world affairs and much of the author's own life: Seth states "I felt that a picture of these individual lives would be complemented by glimpses of their century, even if these glimpses were mediated by the opinion, perhaps opinionatedness, of the author. Indeed, the lens has also turned around upon its wielder, for this book is memoir as well as biography." As such, while a fascinating examination of two very interesting lives, it also gives much insight into the inspiration for and circumstances surrounding the writing of his various works. It is certainly intriguing to see how his interests and life events are linked to his novels. The depiction of World War Two, the Holocaust and other events of the Twentieth Century from two unique perspectives is also quite interesting. And of course, Seth once again exercises his poetic brain cells for the charming dedication. This book has aptly been described as an engaging and moving narrative. Well worth reading.show more
by Marianne Vincent