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Monica | Rochester, NY

I was in the throes of exhaustion and maybe depression in graduate school. My Master's thesis advisor (of blessed memory) kept slashing paragraphs and whole pages of each draft I brought him. GET RID OF THIS! he'd yell at me. THERE'S JUST TOO MUCH DAMN VOICE.

A friend suggested I read Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy; it was one of the largest tomes I've ever hauled around, and it was my escape from the life of academic writing. I couldn't put it down. I found myself on the T, from Harvard Square out to UMass Boston, missing my stop because I was embroiled in Lata's story of choosing from three suitors one that she would marry.

So mesmerizing was Seth's narrative voice that once I finished the book (while deliberately skipping a graduate class--because I had 50 pages left!), I promised myself that one day, I'd go to India, where this beautiful, complex, romantic, layered tale takes place. And six years later, I did.

Coincidentally, I went to India and met the man I married in the same week.


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