Vikram Seth Biography | Famous Indian Novelist | Padma Shri Award Winner

Vikram Seth Biography Famous Indian Novelist

Vikram Seth is an Indian novelist, poet, Padma Shri Award Winner and travel writer, best known for his epic novel ‘A Suitable Boy’. Check out Vikram Seth biography to know about his Family, Career, Awards & Achievements, works & Bibliography.

Quick Facts About Vikram Seth

Born20 June 1952 (age 64)
Kolkata, India
OccupationNovelist, Poet
EducationSt. Michael’s High School, Patna
The Doon School
Corpus Christi College, Oxford
Stanford University
GenreNovels, Poetry, Libretto,
Travel Writing, Children’s Literature, 
Notable worksA Suitable Boy,
The Golden Gate,
An Equal Music,
A Suitable Girl
FatherPrem Seth
MotherLeila Seth

Vikram Seth Biography :  Introduction

Vikram Seth was born on 20 June 1952, Kolkata, India. He is a famous Indian Novelist and poet, best known for his famous novel, ‘A Suitably Boy’. He has written several famous poetries and renowned books. Vikram has been in the field of writing for more than three decades and is regarded as one of the most influential writers of the modern times. His collection of poetries such as ‘Mappings and Beastly Tales‘ are notable contributions to the Indian English language poetry.


Vikram Seth’s Family


Vikram Seth Biography : Vikram Seth's Mother Leila Seth
Leila Seth, Vikram Seth’s mother

Vikram Seth was born to  Premnath Seth who was an executive of Bata Shoes. His mother, Leila Seth was a  lawyer in common law jurisdictions who works at higher levels of court, later on, she became the first female Chief Justice of Delhi High Court.


Vikram Seth’s Education


Vikram Seth Biography: Education of Vikram Seth at Stanford University Main Area
Stanford University Main Area

Vikram Seth got his basic education at St. Michael’s High School, Patna and at ‘The Doon School‘ in Dehradun, before going to England for higher studies. After his graduating from Doon, Vikram Seth went to Tonbridge School, England, to complete his A-levels and read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He then pursued a Ph.D. in Economics at Stanford University.


Vikram Seth’s Career

1. During the time when he was at Stanford University in the United States, he had been a friend to Wallace Stegner in the field of creative writing and it was at this point that he has written the poems that were published in his first published work, ‘Mappings’, in 1980.

2. From 1980 to 1982, he was on a tour of china to gather material for a doctoral dissertation that he never wrote. Vikram Seth also studied classical Chinese poetry and language at Nanjing University. In 1983, he has published his second book, ‘From Heaven Lake‘, in which he has described his hitchhiking journey from China to India. The book received a positive response from the readers and his work got noticed by the people.

3. In 1985, he came out with his another collection of poetries, titled, ‘The Humble Administrator’s Garden’.

4. In 1986, Vikram Seth released his another novel ‘The Golden Gate’, the entire book was written in verse and based on the lives of people in Silicon Valley. The novel attracted huge sales and brought him plenty of recognization in the literature Industry.

5. In 1990, he published another book of poetry titled ‘All You Who Sleep Tonight’.

6. In 1992, he came out with another collection of poems ‘Three Chinese Poets’.

7. In 1992, Vikram Seth penned down a children’s book titled ‘Beastly Tales from Hera and There’ in which he has written ten stories and all of them were related to animals.

8. In 1993, Vikram Seth released his widely famous work in the form of the epic novel ‘A Suitable Boy’.

9. In 1994, he came out with another collection ‘The Frog and the Nightingale‘.

10. In 1999, his novel ‘Equal Music’ was published. The book received a very good response by musical fans and was appreciated for the thought of Vikram Seth’s descriptions of music.

11. In 2005, Vikram Seth released his second non-fiction work, ‘Two Lives‘.


Vikram Seth Bibliography

Vikram Seth biography cannot be completed without listing his works. The complete works of Vikram Seth can be divided into Novels, Poetry, Children’s book and Non-fiction categories.


1. The Golden Gate (1986)
2. A Suitable Boy (1993)
3. Arion and the Dolphin (1995)
4. An Equal Music (1999)
5. A Suitable Girl (14 June 2018)


1. Mappings (1980)
2. The Humble Administrator’s Garden (1985)
3. All You Who Sleep Tonight (1990)
4. Beastly Tales (1991)
5. Three Chinese Poets (1992)
6. At Evening (1993)
7. The Frog and the Nightingale (1994)
8. A Doctor’s Journal Entry
9. Summer Requiem: A Book of Poems (2012)
10. The Eagle and The Beetle
11. The Louse and the Mosquito

Children’s book

1. Beastly Tales from Here and There (1991)


1. From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet (1983)
2. Two Lives (2005)
3. The Rivered Earth

Vikram Seth’s Awards & Achievements

1. 1983 – Thomas Cook Travel Book Award for From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet
2. 1985 – Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia) for The Humble Administrator’s Garden
3. 1988 – Sahitya Akademi Award for The Golden Gate
4. 1993 – Irish Times International Fiction Prize (shortlist) for A Suitable Boy
5. 1994 – Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book) for A Suitable Boy
6. 1994 – WH Smith Literary Award for A Suitable Boy
7. 1999 – Crossword Book Award for An Equal Music
8. 2001 – Order of the British Empire, Officer & EMMA (BT Ethnic and Multicultural Media Award) for Best Book/Novel for An Equal Music
9. 2005 – Pravasi Bharatiya Samman
10. 2007 – Padma Shri in Literature & Education
11. 2013 – The 25 Greatest Global Living Legends In India


Currently Working

Vikram Seth announced that he is working on his latest novel named, A Suitable Girl, and it will be set to release in the year 2018.



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