Later he moved to the United Kingdom and read at ,. There is, of course, the heartbreaking story of Henny's family in Berlin, as well as the struggles of her friends after the war ended. She even received a letter from her former German boyfriend, who had played the part of a good Nazi during the war, hinting at an interest in a continuing relationship. Vikram Seth has woven together their astonishing story, which recounts the arrival into this childless couple's lives of their great-nephew from India, the teenage student Vikram Seth. It is one of those memoirs that stay in your heart, in your mind, for a long time to come. Many of the great currents and movements of the century are reflected through the events of their lives and those of their friends and family.
Henny and Shanti married too late to for children. The book also delves into thoughts about love, courage and friendship, betrayal through opportunism and moral cowardice, and those acts of spontaneous generosity which are all that is left to maintain faith in humanity. Usually though this was left unexpressed in all other cases except of Israel, and indeed India did not recognise Israel until the advent of the new millenium due to this reason, although there was much in common and much to be gained by a diplomatic relationship of the two. Indeed, the lens has also turned upon its wielder, for this book is memoir as well as biography. I think I read it almost in one sitting, I was so enthralled by the story.
His children's book, 1992 consists of ten stories about animals. Shanti soon immigrated to Britain; Henny escaped Nazi Germany the rest of her German Jewish family perished in concentration camps. But not to just anyone she happens to fall in love with. It was here, before he migrated to Britain, that Shanti's path first crossed that of his future wife. Its told without pathos, without feeling and its hard to really understand how this woman continued to maintain her friendships and her ties in light of the murder of her people, who she doesn't really seem to identify with.
I was a big fan of Seth's A Suitable Boy, which estimable tome I took on vacation in hardcover; I am not afraid of big books. The issue of the will underlines the family history aspect of the story, reminding us that this is really a story of two lives and not just an exposé of the twentieth century. I really enjoyed this book - it gives a perspective on the writer, Vikram Seth, and is a compelling story about the lives of 2 very different people, brought together by a war. She escapes to London, marries an Indian, but what is most interesting is that she maintains her relationships with her German Christian friends, whose circle she had been entrenched. There are a hundred categories to choose from when it comes to books. He spares no details and the richness. Toward the end, through, we read some of the letters between Henny's German friend and the German authorities.
The intimacy of the book is reinforced by the latter chapters where the author relates the decline into old age and even a touch of senility of Shanti. And it was definitely interesting to read all of the letters from the author's great-aunt in-law , who was a German Jew who escaped to Britain in the late 30s, to her acquaintances in Germany at the I was very surprised by how quickly this book went by. Neither Shanti Uncle nor Aunt Henny became famous - they lived fairly quiet lives after the war - but it's a testament to Seth's talent as an author that I was completely absorbed in stories about dentistry and bridge parties. Part biography, part memoir, part meditation on our times, this is the true tale of two remarkable lives -- a masterful telling from one of our greatest living writers. Even as a young boy, the author knew his uncle and aunt, and in fact 'Two Lives' is an amazing book. Shanti lost an arm during the war while serving as a surgeon with the British Army. 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.
Only if one decides that whatever ruling powers do must be approved of. One might think along the lines logically, though, and see if such a principle has been applied to any other nations that were formed on basis of a religion and displaced people living there for settling others from faraway lands. Vikram Seth has woven together their story, which recounts the arrival into this childless couple's lives of their great-nephew from India--the teenage Vikram. But i felt that the second half of the book which deals with aunty henny and shanti uncle's life in the later years far less interesting or intriguing because I know the character's so well by this point that I knew beforehand how they are going to react to situations and it was a struggle to read just to get a sense of ending. 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.
Born in 1952 in Calcutta, India, Vikram Seth was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Stanford University and Nanjing University. She and Papa came to see me off at Dumdum Airport. This was a completely fascinating read because it told the story of a German Jewish woman, whose mother and sister were killed by the Nazis, but any resemblance to the 'usual' story ends there. However, this unusual couple goes through many tribulations before they finally settle down and establish themselves as a successful couple in England. Once I started reading it, I could not put it down. Funny and tragic, with engaging, brilliantly observed characters, it is as close as you can get to Dickens for the twentieth century.
His Beastly Tales from Here and There 1992 is children's book consisting of ten stories in verse about animals. Two Lives is both a history of a violent century seen through the eyes of two survivors and an intimate portrait of their friendship, marriage, and abiding yet complex love. The last few pages of the book see a return, for me, to Seth's most sensitive writing - '. Both were born in 1908, Henny died in 1989 and Shanti in 1998. That bothered me on the most basic level. He was brought up in India in the apparently vigorous but dying Raj and was sent by his family in the 1930s to Berlin -- though he could not speak a word of German -- to study medicine and dentistry. As with From Heaven Lake, Two Lives contains much autobiography.
I almost feel that I have acquired, in Seth, a much-loved family member. Securing a place at dental school took all his determination and the problems he encountered applying to British schools meant that he eventually settled for a place in Berlin. In doing that for himself, he delivers a subtle, yet affecting gift to his readers. In much of Europe shops must close on Sunday and may not on other days, in Germany one may not dare to do any work on Sunday at any rate what can be seen by anyone unless one works in a restaurant or a bar where people are normally out in afternoons onwards. I couldn't put the book down.