Read From Heaven Lake by Vikram Seth Free Online
Book Title: From Heaven Lake|
The author of the book: Vikram Seth
Edition: Penguin Books Ltd
Date of issue: January 4th 2016
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 19.49 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.2
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Vikram Seth's “From Heaven Lake: travels in Sinkiang and Tibet” is an unusual travel book. Steering clear of all Lonely Planet Guides and regular travel routes, Seth manages to sketch a picture of China, Tibet, and Nepal from a hungry (quite literally) student traveller’s perspective. He was at that time a student at the Nanjing University. Taking time and money off from the Standford University, Seth stays in China for 2 years. When the time comes for him to return home, he decides on a mega unconventional route. Abandoning all idea of taking a flight out of Xian or Chengdu (cities other than Beijing and Shanghai that we are not familiar with). He decides to take a rather long, hungry, cold rounadabout hitchhiking trip that takes him into the world’s least known areas. The time is the 80s. Seth knows Chinese so well that at one point in time during the trip he had to speak it badly with effort so that people come to his aid.
Seth has been called the “pin-up boy” of Indian Writing in English partly because of his rugged good looks and partly because of “A Suitable Boy.” But in this lesser known work, he shines through both as a writer and a humourist. Unlike other travellers, Seth concentrates on the inner journey as much as the outer.
Seth writes like a song. The flow in uninterrupted and he has amazing control over his words. Each word has been chosen in keeping with what precise emotion he wants to convey. As a friend of mine says, he is a classical writer, no gimmicks.
A litany of places with sing song names like Turfan, Tarim, Changau, Antioch, Yarkhand, Khotan, Urumqui, Kashgar, Kuche, Xian, Liuyuan, Dunhuang, Sichuan, Qinghai, Nanhu, Chengde, Germu, Lanzhou, Xining, Chaidam, Naqu, Anduo, Liaoning, Jokhang, Drepung, Norbulingka, Chengdu, Zhang mu, Dingri, Chamdo, Shigatse, Nilamn, Zhangmu pepper the travelogue but the writescape starts to get less exotic and more familiar by the time Seth reaches Lhasa and then Kathmandu.
Reading Seth is always a pleasure: like sipping iced tea in hot weather. It refreshed my city-weary mind. It’s all the travelling that I can do without getting bee-stung, flea-bitten, and frozen-toed not to mention altitude sickness. There is one phrase that I can’t get out of my head: “delicious calm.” It makes me taste “calm” like some specific dish. Salud to the delicious calm of reading Vikram Seth!
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Read information about the authorVikram Seth is an Indian poet, novelist, travel writer, librettist, children's writer, biographer and memoirist.
During the course of his doctorate studies at Stanford, he did his field work in China and translated Hindi and Chinese poetry into English. He returned to Delhi via Xinjiang and Tibet which led to a travel narrative From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet (1983) which won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award.
The Golden Gate: A Novel in Verse (1986) was his first novel describing the experiences of a group of friends who live in California. A Suitable Boy (1993), an epic of Indian life set in the 1950s, got him the WH Smith Literary Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize.
His poetry includes The Humble Administrator's Garden (1985) and All You Who Sleep Tonight (1990). His Beastly Tales from Here and There (1992) is children's book consisting of ten stories in verse about animals.
In 2005, he published Two Lives, a family memoir written at the suggestion of his mother, which focuses on the lives of his great-uncle (Shanti Behari Seth) and German-Jewish great aunt (Henny Caro) who met in Berlin in the early 1930s while Shanti was a student there and with whom Seth stayed extensively on going to England at age 17 for school. As with From Heaven Lake, Two Lives contains much autobiography.
An unusually forthcoming writer whose published material is replete with un- or thinly-disguised details as to the personal lives of himself and his intimates related in a highly engaging narrative voice, Seth has said that he is somewhat perplexed that his readers often in consequence presume to an unwelcome degree of personal familiarity with him.
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