Two Lives: A Memoir

Two Lives: A Memoir

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Vikram Seth

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Format: Paperback | 503 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 198mm x 28mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 1 July 2006
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0060599677
  • ISBN 13: 9780060599676
  • Sales rank: 169,342

Product description

This captivating new book--the story of a century and of a love affair across a racial divide--from the author of A Suitable Boy is the memoir of the marriage of the author's great uncle and aunt.

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Customer reviews

By Marianne Vincent 14 May 2013 4

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.

Review quote

"A subtle portrait of the complexities of a long companionship . . . A wonderful book."--The Economist