Hybrid Approaches
Rita Joshi
VIKRAM SETH: AN ANTHOLOGY OF RECENT CRITICISM by G.J.V. Prasad Pencraft International, New Delhi, 2004, 185 pp., 400
March 2004, volume 28, No 3

Vikram Seth has emerged as one of the most significant authors of Indian fiction in English. He is also the most versatile – he is a poet, travel writer, playwright and novelist – and has won major awards in each category. He has a cosmopolitan identity having lived in England, California and China as a student. His first collection of poems, Mappings, was published by P. Lal in 1981. In this collection are two poems addressed to men and several romantic poems to women. Seth declares his early bisexual leanings: “In the ranks / of Gay and Straight / what is my status? Stray or Great:”(‘Dubious’) revealing that his sense of irony and love of word play intervenes in his awareness of his life experience.The collection of essays on Seth under review is one of the first critical collections on the author. The editor, G.J.V. Prasad, states in the Introduction: “a collection can never claim to have said the last word on any writer…… here is a collection of essays which addresses a gap in our understanding and appreciation of one of the foremost writers in English of our times.”

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