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Vikram Seth's 'An Equal Music' (1 Viewer)

jipsi

Senior Member
anyone read this? as a writer of indian (the subcontinental kind) heritage it was incredibly refreshing to find an indian author not once mentioning arranged marriages or curry powder or mangoes in his novel... if anyone knows of other such indian authors, id love to hear about them...

as for the novel itself, the story is , not surprisingly, about musicians, and it was impressive to read smth that did justice to the feeling of listening and playing classical music... this is tough. however, there were some parts where Seth's SOC style popped up, out of nowhere, and left you feeling a bit seasick... plus i think there was british slang that may have confused me too...

a good read overall, made me want to pick up my violin every time i read it, and the conclusion of the love story still lingers with me after a week, so make sure you dont mind a mild case of depression... hey, might be good for your writing at least ...
 

Stewart

Senior Member
jipsi said:
anyone read this? as a writer of indian (the subcontinental kind) heritage it was incredibly refreshing to find an indian author not once mentioning arranged marriages or curry powder or mangoes in his novel... if anyone knows of other such indian authors, id love to hear about them...

If that's the way you feel then you may not enjoy A Suitable Boy, his magnum opus, which is about trying to find the appropriate husband for a daughter. Expect mangoes.

I've not read any Seth yet; A Suitable Boy, at 1,500 pages, begs from one of my shelves to be read. I'm not giving in to it's pressure yet. I understand, however, that Seth's An Equal Music is one of those books that divides critics - many thought it an annoying book on its publication due to Seth's knowledge of music which appears on the page that a musical layman may not be interested in. Musicians, like you appear to be, have spoken up in favour of the book, especially given that Seth harbours an excellent knowledge of European music.
 

strangedaze

Senior Member
as a writer of indian (the subcontinental kind) heritage it was incredibly refreshing to find an indian author not once mentioning arranged marriages or curry powder or mangoes in his novel... if anyone knows of other such indian authors, id love to hear about them...

All that talk of curry powder and mangoes makes me sick, too. Now if they were writing about something wholesome and white, that would be a different story...

;)
 

jipsi

Senior Member
i am not asking any writer to relate to a culture or history that is not theirs.
this is what i am saying: the many indian (and indian-american) novels that have been written and oohed and aaahed over in the recent years are a disgusting exploitation of their migrant experiences. why can't they write about something besides their skin color or ancient traditions? yes of course it is easiest to write what you know and that usually means yourself, but why the overdose of novels with pictures of a bride's hennaed hands? (if you ever go to a barnes and noble or borders, you know what im talking about!)

what irks me to the utmost is when anyone of any particular ethnicity uses it in the foreground of their writing, as a promotion, as a lure... humanity is multi-colored, so much so that it becomes colorless, NEUTRAL, and one person somewhere in the world can connect to someone else somewhere else in the world through plain thoughts, without the need of always hammering away at the cultural oddities surrounding them. everyone is made up of all sorts of experiences , all of which can be called "cultural."
 
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