Two Lives

Two Lives A heartrending new book the story of a marriage and the story of two lives from the author of the international bestselling novel A Suitable Boy Shanti Behari Seth was born on the eighth day of the ei

  • Title: Two Lives
  • Author: Vikram Seth
  • ISBN: 9780060599676
  • Page: 186
  • Format: Paperback
  • A heartrending new book the story of a marriage and the story of two lives from the author of the international bestselling novel A Suitable Boy Shanti Behari Seth was born on the eighth day of the eighth month in the eighth year of the twentieth century he died two years before its close He was brought up in India in the apparently vigorous but dying Raj and was sA heartrending new book the story of a marriage and the story of two lives from the author of the international bestselling novel A Suitable Boy Shanti Behari Seth was born on the eighth day of the eighth month in the eighth year of the twentieth century he died two years before its close 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 It was here, before he migrated to Britain, that Shanti s path first crossed that of his future wife Helga Gerda Caro, known to everyone as Henny was also born in 1908, in Berlin, to a Jewish family cultured, patriotic, and intensely German When the family decided to take Shanti as a lodger, Henny s first reaction was, Don t take the black man But a friendship flowered, and when Henny fled Hitler s Germany for England just one month before war broke out, she was met at Victoria Station by the only person in the country she knew Shanti 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 The result is an extraordinary tapestry of India, the Third Reich and the Second World War, Auschwitz and the Holocaust, Israel and Palestine, postwar Germany and 1970s Britain Two Lives is both a history of a violent century

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      186 Vikram Seth
    Two Lives

    About "Vikram Seth"

    1. Vikram Seth

      Vikram 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.

    589 thoughts on “Two Lives”

    1. Onvan Two Lives Nevisande Vikram Seth ISBN 60599677 ISBN13 9780060599676 Dar 544 Safhe Saal e Chap 2005

    2. I think Vikram Seth is my favorite Indian author I read his huge over 700 pages novel A Suitable Boy while in Fiji because many of my Indian friends recommended it It is the wonderful story of several Indian families, often humorous and always beautifully written, that covers the panorama of Indian history from Partition to the present But I think his best book is Two Lives, the story of the aunt and uncle he lived with while going to university in London These two very different people coming f [...]

    3. While Two Lives is, on the surface, a double biography, perhaps it is an intensely personal journey for Vikram Seth an opportunity to explore the many sides of his uncle, Shanti, and his aunt, Henny, two people who loved and cared for him and were fixed points in his own firmament for most of his life In doing that for himself, he delivers a subtle, yet affecting gift to his readers.There have been so many moving accounts written of those who perished or survived during the painful years of Wor [...]

    4. From the author of A Suitable Boy, one of my all time favorite books, comes the story of his great uncle and aunt, two ordinary people living in extraordinary times Shanti, his uncle, left India as a young man to study dentistry in Germany in the early 30 s, and it was there that he met the Jewish woman who would eventually become his wife 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 co [...]

    5. Two Lives is a homage to two people Shanti and Henny and to a whole generation which despite being separated from us by mere decades, now seems to exist in a different world The author combines a memoir of his own years with a biography of his aunt and uncle, who helped raise him in London as a teenager.I was very much impressed by the great care Seth takes in exploring even minor aspects of their character and story But i felt that the second half of the book which deals with aunty henny and sh [...]

    6. 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 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 The story is told to a certain extent through her correspondence with them, as well as from her Indian nephews perspective Wha [...]

    7. I was expecting a love story But this book is better described as a story of two people making the best of their lives following the upheaval of the WWII and the holocaust The author first explains why the couple Shanti and Henny, his great uncle and aunt, were important people in his life Then he proceeds to tell their stories His great uncle Shanti, a native of India, attended school in Berlin in the early 30s and became part of a circle of friends centered around the family apartment where he [...]

    8. Two Lives , by Vikram Seth what an incredible accomplishment, what an inspiring book This beautifully written memoir is one that you will remember, long after you have finished the last word, on the last page The book is infused with prose that is poetic, sensitive, insightful, and pure It is one of those memoirs that stay in your heart, in your mind, for a long time to come When I was seventeen I went to live with my great uncle and great aunt in England He was an Indian by origin, she German T [...]

    9. Two Lives A Memoir by Vikram SethThe Two Lives are those of the author s great uncle Shanti and great aunt Henny, who lived in Hendon when he knew them, but had met in Berlin before the Second World War She was a Jewish native of Berlin He was an Indian student of dentistry with connections in Britain.Seth describes his dealings with the couple as he became friends with them as their lodger when he was studying in England But the book is principally an account of their own relationship, which Se [...]

    10. This is an intimate book as it concerns the author himself and people related and well known to him It is also a process of discovery during which we accompany the author from his first encounters with the couple whose lives are described here and his gradually deepening understanding of their lives and the examples they provide of how major events of the twentieth century affected individual ordinary people Or maybe they were not so ordinary as both were expatriates living in a foreign land whi [...]

    11. Disappointing memoir of an Uncle Indian and Aunt Jewish German , with whom Seth lived for a while.The early part of the book, Seth s own story, runs quite well, but the book then gets ever confusing and disparate ranging from long and boring accounts of dental practice and equipment to unreadably painful accounts of the deaths the aunt s sister, mother and friends must have suffered in the HolocaustLater sections deal variously with her post war correspondence with old friends some revealed to b [...]

    12. I always had looked at A Suitable Boy with a lot of interest and curiosity but found it too thick to pick it up which finally made me pick up Mr Seth s Two Lives Guess out of guilt than interest This book is part memoir, part biography and tells the story of Seth s uncle Shanti, a World War II veteran who settled in London, and Shanti s German wife, Henny and Seth s relationship with them The book is way too detailed for my liking with many letters and characters in it which ended up confusing [...]

    13. Good book, a little wandering at times, as he was often writing about himself as much as his subjects Pretty dispiriting but I guess needful to remind ourselves of the toll the Nazis took in so many ways.

    14. Highly recommended for everybody who enjoyed A Suitable Boy Vikram Seth writes wonderfully you can almost imagine he is in the room, telling you the story himself.

    15. There are biographies and then there are memoirs, and then there is that which is an intriguing braid of the two Where the author is no longer an outsider in the screenplay of events, but himself a living and breathing character, adding a few sprinkles of salt and pepper to the concoction Two Lives by Vikram Seth is one such piece, and flipping page after page of a beautiful tale of love, life, friends, fiends and a time marked by events so strong, that half a century is defined by them, you gro [...]

    16. As much as I tried to get into this book it seemed too unwieldy for me The author is a stickler for details and that contributed to the unwieldiness I just couldn t move much past the first 100 500 pages Maybe I ll pick it up again, in the future Maybe.

    17. Two Lives A Memoir is the story of the two lives of the title, but it is very much and that is why I enjoyed reading it First there is the story of Shanti Behari Seth, an immigrant from India who came to Berlin to study in the 1930s, and Helga Gerda Caro, the young German woman who became his wife Secondly we have the introductory section Part One that introduces the author, Vikram Seth and his schooling in England and later the United States which precipitated his close relationship with Shant [...]

    18. I was very surprised by how quickly this book went by It wasn t written in a particularly exciting way, nor did it make any effort to express an atmosphere or immerse you in the narrative the author commented a lot on his approach as he went along , but there was still something touching about it 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 end [...]

    19. SPOILER ALERTI love Vikram Seth s novels, and I thought this would be interesting It was interesting, but here are my criticisms the story is told haphazardly, especially in the second half of the book It sometimes seems as though the author took a bunch of documents and pieced them together without much commentary in between I m sure he thought about how they would fit together, but he didn t let me the reader know Also, the book was a lot depressing than I thought I would be It was a story of [...]

    20. I m not sure what Seth intended with this book, and that absence at its heart is somehow fascinating rather than annoying On the surface it is the backstory of two relatives he got to know as a teenager, but at times it almost becomes Seth s own story of finding a place as a foreigner in the world, and by the end I felt I was reading a meditation on forgiveness The most gripping part for me was the post war correspondence between his Aunt Henny a German Jew who escaped to England in the 1930s an [...]

    21. This was a fascinating book, parts memoir, biography, history, and detective story Vikram Seth sets out to tell his great uncle s story, but discovers that his life is not his alone it belongs to multiple generations, is crafted by history and politics, and is rooted in love Not only that, the story of Shanti Uncle and his bride, Aunt Henny, is the story of the twentieth century and spans India, Germany, England, and the US The narrative shows us how our world has always been connected, how peop [...]

    22. Seth is a great storyteller, and his prose is beautiful This book is ultimately a love story, although it doesn t read like one It s also a historical account of Germany s societal changes before and after WWII.

    23. Astounding book Very intriguing Only Vikram Seth can pull it off Henny aunty and Shanti uncle are brought out in flesh in this meditative memoir The source of evidence itself is an interesting read and even the tinted view of the author is fitting for this book.

    24. I just finished the Memoir about Two Lives It is written simply and spans almost all of last century in the story of the two it is about, and the span covered is amazing in scope but it is far too simple for the century and the globe it flies around and over The subjects it touches, if one is not well aware of them one wishes to go on and read about them If one does know about them it leaves one feeling as if one were flying over lands one would like to see of by descending and walking or even [...]

    25. La storia dello zio dentista di Vikram Seth e della moglie tedesca probabilmente omosessuale nei dintorni della seconda guerra mondiale Tra Germania e Inghilterra Una storia tanto inusuale per l epoca, quanto affascinante.

    26. Why isn t everyone talking about this book A two strand biography and memoir written with a refreshing honesty Delves into WWII and its long term effects on the author s family.Phenomenal.

    27. I have had this book for about ten years, but only just got around to reading it now I like Seth s novels, and the writing here is good His great aunt and uncle came from very different worlds, but lived through many of the big events of the 20th Century His great uncle was born in India, but studied dentistry in Berlin There he boarded with a Jewish family He liked the younger daughter, Henny, but she was engaged to another man He then moved to Britain to qualify to practice dentistry there and [...]

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