The author of the international bestsellerA Suitable Boyreturns with a passionate and deeply romantic tale of two gifted musicians. When an English quartet, the Maggiore, undertakes a challenging work of Beethoven's, violinist Michael Holme is overwhelmed by memories of mastering the piece as a student in Vienna. That's where he also met Julia McNicholl, a pianist whose beauty was as mesmerizing as her musical genius, and whom Michael loved with an intensity he never found again. Years later, Michael is living a life devoted to music, until one day he is riding a London bus, and there, on another bus, separated only by glass, sits Julia McNicholl. Though the mutual passion flares anew, the love they shared in their younger days is now complicated by the secrets and silences that have been generated by the passing of years. Unable to resist the power of their shared history, however, Julia agrees to tour Vienna and Venice with Michael and the Maggiore Quartet. Against the magical backdrop of concert halls and canals, Michael and Julia must confront the truth about their love for one another, their love for the music that brought them together, and the true consequences for their tangled hearts. An Equal Musicshows Seth to be at the top of his form: It is a tour de force of poetic, impassioned writing, conjuring brilliantly the worlds of Beethoven and Bach, of Vienna, Venice, and London, of individual heartache and the familial bonds that tie a quartet. Interweaving themes of loss, longing, and the power of music,An Equal Musicis a deeply affecting story about the strands of passion that run through all our lives, masterfully confirming Vikram Seth as one of the world's finest and most daring novelists.
Over 350,000 copies sold in paperback alone 'This book is music ... it's an extraordinary book that finds music in everything, and everything in music' Independent on Sunday 'The finest novel about music ever written in English' Daily Telegraph 'A virtuoso performance, wrapping love, life and music into an absorbing read' Sebastian Shakespeare, Evening Standard 'A hauntingly beautiful story about loss and love, and the power of music to transform human experience' Mail on Sunday
Winner of Good Book Guide Awards: Fiction 2000.
Vikram Seth was born in 1952. He trained as an economist and has lived for several years each in England, California, China and India. He is the author of A Suitable Boy, which was an international number one bestseller.