A Suitable Boy
Seth (Vikram)
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Back Cover Blurb
  1. At its core, A Suitable Boy is a love story: the tale of Lata - and her mother's - attempts to find her a suitable husband, through love or through exacting maternal appraisal.
  2. At the same time, it is the story of India, newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis as a sixth of the world's population faces its first great general election and the chance to map its own destiny.

  1. Browsing through books, two students meet one day. – 1
    A mother mopes; a medal melts away.
  2. A courtesan sings coolly through the heat. – 81
    A hopeful lover buys a parakeet.
  3. A couple glide downriver in a boat. – 147
    A mother hears that mischief is afloat.
  4. Two men discuss the Brahmpur leather trade. – 213
    A pair of brogues (maroon) is planned and made.
  5. Blood soaks a lane, and bullets ricochet. – 255
    A legislative vixen baits her prey.
  6. baby kicks; a bloodshot Raja yowls. – 327
    A young man speeds downhill; a father growls.
  7. Calcutta simmers in a stew of talk. – 417
    A cemetery affords a pleasing walk.
  8. Beneath the neem the village children play. – 565
    Worn cattle churn the burning earth to clay.
  9. A desperate mother ventures to deploy – 619
    Fair means or foul to net a suitable boy.
  10. A wolf-hunt is arranged; at Baitar Fort – 695
    A cheated marksman looks for further sport.
  11. Old landlords sue the state to keep their lands. – 773
    Crushed corpses rot upon the holy sands.
  12. A kiss brings fury, Twelfth Night sparks a snub, – 859
    And even bridge stokes tumult at the Club.
  13. A child is born; wise women come to look. – 949
    A cobbler writes. A poet mails his book.
  14. The Prime Minister fights, and keeps his head. – 1079
    Sad sons assuage the spirits of their dead.
  15. The flames of Karbala and Lanka blaze, – 1167
    Igniting madness through the city’s maze.
  16. Calcutta Christmas lights festoon Park Street; – 1235
    And at a cricket match three suitors meet.
  17. Someone is stabbed in Brahmpur, someone dies, – 1313
    While private shame is viewed by public eyes.
  18. One person, five, and forty thousand choose; – 1419
    Some win, some draw, and — as must be — some lose.
  19. The curtain falls; the players take their bow – 1503
    And wander off the stage — at least for now.


Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 1st edition (7th November 2013)

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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