Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why Vikram Seth failed to deliver "A Suitable Girl" in time

The news: Vikram Seth fails to deliver the ms of A Suitable Girl in time, and his publisher now demands million dollar refund from him.

I remember when I read the news that Seth was writing "A Suitable Girl" as sequel to "A Suitable Boy" and was being paid a huge advance for it, I wondered who was the crazier of the two: his publisher or the author himself? Could it really be a viable deal, all things considered?

A Suitable Boy was a long, boring story which Seth had, in all probablity, churned out with efforts. I don't know how it climbed the bestseller list.May be the readers at that time wanted to have a taste of India, may be it was something noble in the early phase of Indian writing in English, or may be his publisher went overboard with its publicity campaign, or may be due to effect of all these things put together.

Times have changed. So have readers' taste and preference. Who would be interested in A Suitable Girl  in these times? Does the publishing company, in its new avatar, realize it now?

Vikram Seth is no ordinary hack. He must have realized it too that it was no longer possible for him to plod through such a stupid theme. Writer's  block must have waylaid him.

So don't blame Seth. It was an absurd and ludicrous deal, and the ineviable has happened.A lesson both for the publisher and the writer.

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