19 Books By Vikram Seth from Novels To Poems That Are Must Read

Woo hoo, let’s get started!

Kavya Dharshini

Dec 20, 2020|7 min read


Nothing more than books can be the best companion for a person, especially an introvert! When you lack sharing emotions with people around, books fix that void to fulfil your heart with words replete with emotions. A two-way sharing of emotions here seems endless here!

Vikram Seth novels and books are the best therapeutics suggested for those seeking warm hugs and pampers. Vikram Seth, an Indian, is a legendary writer who aces any genre of writings and soulful poems that earned him FRSL title, acknowledged with honoraries like Sahitya Academy award, Padmashri and many more.

Started in 1980, his noble works are pursuing timeless through decades and no doubt through centuries and more. Here’s a list of all Vikram Seth books. Let’s get started with his poetry works. 

1. Mappings (1980)

It all started here. Published in 1980, this book of Vikram Seth, is a collection of poems released within a minimal arena of reputation. Over a few years, it took a turn to get published by demanded publishers. 

Many of these poems relate to his twenties life period. It touches the serious and smooth phases of life including translations of other notable poets’ works. 

2. The Tale of Melon City (1981)

The Tale of Melon City , one of the Vikram Seth books of simple ideas with great content, was published in 1981 and got featured in 11th-grade syllabus even. This poem features a king who fails to make decisions wisely by himself and falls prey to his own decision. To the end, a melon climbs the throne. How funny?! But think big!

The Melon City is ridicule of the inefficient governance of a country. Through this poem, Vikram Seth stresses the importance of how a leader must take decisions wisely. 

3. The Humble Administrator’s Garden (1985)

The Humble Administrator’s Garden by Vikram Seth is the first collection of his own poetry, published in 1985. These poems are penned on his life incidents segregated into three different sections. The Wutong, the Neem and the Live-Oak speak about his student phase and voyage to China, his native India and California days respectively.

This poetic one among Vikram Seth books is as nostalgic as evergreen!

4. All You Who Sleep Tonight (1990)

For those sole hearts, here are soothing words of the console. All You Who Sleep Tonight by Vikram Seth is an excellent collection of his poems, published in 1990. The poems are classified into five sections namely Romantic Residues, In Other Voices, In Other Places, Quatrains and Meditations of The Heart touching varied shades of emotions from romance to tragic Hiroshima events. 

The following lines are his renowned work:

“All you who sleep tonight

Far from the ones you love,

No hands to left or right,

And emptiness above –

Know that you aren’t alone."

These lines are one of the bests from Vikram Seth books. 

5. Beastly Tales From Here and There (1991)

Beastly Tales From Here and There is a collection of Vikram Seth popular poems including ‘The Frog and the Nightingale’ and ’The Crocodile and the Monkey’. Doesn't it seem like fables?

Yes, Beastly Tales From Here and There is a here and there collection of fables into poems as a couple from India, the next couple from China, then a duo from Greece, followed by two from Ukraine and finally inspired by Salman Rushdie's Land of Gup. 

Remember The Frog and the Nightingale poem in class 10? This is explanatory enough to mark the fact of a simple story with great insight.

Here are a few best-known poems of this collection enlisted:

The Crocodile and The Monkey 

A best narrated of real-time cases of friendship-betrayal-partition. On casting the crocodile and the monkey, Vikram Seth has chosen the right and simple path to notify events around.

The Frog and the Nightingale

The Frog and the Nightingale is another expert piece to preach children about the two extreme traits of humans.

Published singley in 1994, this one of all Vikram Seth books is a life lesson to rely upon.

6. Three Chinese Poets (1992)

The Three Chinese Poets by Vikram Seth is a collection of translated Chinese poems by three scholarly Chinese poets. The trio Wang Wei, Du Fu and Li Bai were the foundation of this strong poetry collection of Vikram Seth. He has fulfilled his wish to learn an unknown language by translating them. 

7. Summer Requiem (2015)

Summer Requiem by Vikram Seth walks us through his past summers experience, published in 2015. As we read, the words come along with our thoughts and experiences as what we’ve felt so on those days. 

“My friends have left, and I can see

No one, and no one will appear.

This must be happiness, to be

Sitting alone with birds and beer.”

The words mean aloofness of the poet but can accompany your feelings ‘oh! Yeah’ as you run down the lines!

8. Ox-Tales 

This is a collaborative project by 38 well - known poets of the UK and Vikram Seth was one among them. Ox-Tales is a collection of four anthologies themed on the four elements - Earth, Fire, Air and Water).

A contributional work to Oxfam, a charitable organisation against poverty, is a kinda recognition for Vikram Seth poem. Now, let’s get into the novel section of Vikram Seth books of varied genres. 

9. From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet (1983)

From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet by Vikram Seth is non-fictional travel literature, published in 1983. This particular book by Vikram Seth is all about his journey through Tibet all the way from Heaven Lake. After his post-graduation in China, this travel has started and introduced him to different people on the way to New Delhi.

A travel story, for those feeling missed, is a virtual journey through Tibet in the book. And so is this travel novel to help you out!

10. The Golden Gate (1986)

The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth had really been the golden gate for him as it knocked the door of fame for him. The first novel of Vikram Seth, published in 1986. It is after this novel, he rose to fame and was praised widely for this work. Inspired by Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, this novel consists of 590 Onegin stanzas. 

Seth extraordinary work deserved the Sahitya Akademi award and it happened in 1998.

11. A Suitable Boy (1993)

A Suitable Boy is the next hit novel by Vikram Seth, published in 1993. This one of the longest novels as a single volume, A Suitable Boy is a work of romantic fiction. The story plot is set in the post-partition period of India and moves about focusing on a dominating mother searching for an official beau (a suitable boy) for her 19-year-old daughter. 

In 2019, it was listed under 100 most inspiring novels and grabbed the credits from notable faces like Daniel Johnson and Christopher Hitchens.

Sounds like something familiar on Netflix, right? Exactly! This novel by Vikram Seth is adapted as a series starring handsome Ishaan and gorgeous Tabu. so you have two choices -either read or watch!

12. Arion and the Dolphin: A Libretto (1994)

Arion and Dolphin is a retelling of a story about Greek mythical characters Arion and Dolphin, both known as passionate friends. The read takes you through soothing, pleasant lines to end up with the sad demise of the Dolphin. 

This novel by Vikram Seth is of fiction genre, published in 1994. 

13. An Equal Music (1999)

An Equal Music by Vikram Seth is a romantic fiction inspired by the French Violinist, Phillipe Honore.  Published in 1999, this novel by Vikram Seth spotlights a music couple - Michael, a violinist and Julia, a Pianist. Michael’s love for Julia is immortal even after a decade spoils their career life. 

Seth has mentioned Phillipe in his Onegin epigraph, in honour of his inspiration. Vikram Seth novel set a positive mark in the hearts of music lovers as an impact of clear musical definitions. A musical one of all Vikram Seth books. 

14. Two Lives: A Memoir (2005)

Another non - fictional novel by Vikram Seth is the Two Lives, published in 2005. As the title suggests, Vikram Seth book is a memoir concentric of his great uncle of Indian origin and great aunt of German origin. 

The love between them is highlighted over the shades of cultural conflicts. The book has received the Crossword Book award for its excellent work. 

15. The Rivered Earth (2011)

Vikram Seth unusual unique creation is The Rivered Earth, published in 2011. This novel by Vikram Seth describes the poet’s perspective of working with a music composer. Liberating a series of four libretti touching the corners of the world brings in his extra ordinance to be cheered. 

Another musical line up of Vikram Seth books. 

16. A Suitable Girl (2019)

A Suitable Girl is a ‘jump sequel’ of A Suitable Boy as addressed by Vikram Seth, the author. This novel by Vikram Seth was worked on in collaboration with Michelle McGrane, originally published in 2019. As the Suitable Boy was set around the 1950s, this novel is set in the current stretch which is why it is called a jump sequel. 

17. Riot At Misri Mandi (1995)

Riot At Misri Mandi by Vikram Seth is a tributary of A Suitable Boy beheld with a post-independence scenario. A political fiction novel by Vikram Seth, originally published in 1995, narrates the adversities that had foreseen after the independence of India. 

18. New Beginnings: New Writing from Bestselling Authors to Aid Save The Children

New Beginnings in rationale to Save The Children Tsunami Relief Fund, is a synergic work of bestselling authors as spotted in the title. Vikram Seth was one among them, giving hands for a good cause. The book by Vikram Seth is, on a whole, a compilation of new unpublished works in a single piece. 

19. AIDS Sutra: Untold Stories from India

This is an anthology book by several writers sharing their research on AIDS hard hit on India. This book by Vikram Seth as a part of the union, reveals how India develops patient count apace with its cumulative development. 

The incredible novels and poems of Vikram Seth hold the torch high for himself as well as India. Representing our nation with all possible tinges of India added in his books have taken his reputation across the borders all over the world. His era is timeless in his books.

Read More:

Explore: Feeding Trends | Events


Kavya Dharshini

I am an engineer and writer by passion. A writer finds no bounds and many reasons to ink a paper with words being powerful emotions. I am one among that kind to simply inspire all with my style of writing and ending up inspiring myself through every single work of mine.



Read More