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An Equal Music – an unusual story

Written by: Suba Subramanium


Book cover
An Equal Music – an unusual story


‘An Equal Music’, an unusual story, told by Vikram Seth, is all about a love rekindled. As the story goes - Michael Holmes, second violinist with the Maggiore Quartet, finds the love he lost ten years earlier, the now married pianist Julia. Their love, which apparently never died, is rekindled. She is torn between her old love and her family, a husband and a seven year old son, and a dog. Fate has its way and Julia has gone practically stone deaf over the past years.

An Equal Music is a love story, but it's not just about romantic love - it's about the love of a parent for a child, love for the timeless work of brilliant artists. As a whole the novel is both incredibly uplifting and heartbreakingly sad.

Seth's expressive, highly perceptive, almost poetic writing allows readers to catch a glimpse of the world of classical instrumental music, from the inside. One's heart goes out to Julia for her loss.An Equal Music -a book that one would strongly recommend to all readers, classical music lovers or otherwise, for Seth's writing is superb. A just- right book to curl up with on a cold night in front of a crackling fireplace, with Beethoven, Bach or Schubert in the back ground!

The message of the novel is that art -- be it music, poetry, or fiction -- is as great, as deep, as true, as important as love, and can be as redeeming.

Born in 1952 in Calcutta, India, Vikram Seth was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Stanford University and Nanjing University. He has travelled widely.

His first novel, The Golden Gate: A Novel in Verse (1986), describes the experiences of a group of friends living in California. His acclaimed epic of Indian life, A Suitable Boy (1993), won the WH Smith Literary Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book).

Vikram Seth's latest work is Two Lives (2005), a memoir of the marriage of his great uncle and aunt.

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