From Heaven Lake: Travels through Sinkiang and Tibet [VIKRAM SETH] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Key features the popular. From Heaven Lake is a brilliant, classic account of Vikram Seth’s journey through China when he was a 29 year old student at Nanjing. From Heaven Lake: travels through Sinkiang and Tibet / Vikram Seth Seth, From Heaven Lake is the story of his remarkable journey and his encounters with .

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Based on a travel journal, this is a very personal account of Seth’s hitchhiking journey from China, where he was an exchange student, through Tibet to reach Nepal to eventually fly home to his parents in Delhi. Either that, or I wanted to go make friends with Vikram Seth and bring him a big pot of vegetarian spaghetti or something.

From Heaven Lake : travels through Sinkiang and Tibet (Book, ) []

Here we three, cooped, alone, Tibetan, Indian, Han, Against a common dawn Catch what poor sleep we can, And sleeping drag the same Sparse air into our lungs, And dreaming throguh of home Sleeptalk in different tongues.

As a friend of mine says, he is a classical fromm, no gimmicks. But if I were born to the inhuman, dehumanising misery in which the poorest third of our people live, to the squalor and despair and debility that is their life, my answer would not be the same. May 13, Bakul rated it it was amazing.

We take every warm item of clothing out of our bags and swaddle traavels into immobility. Tibet Througg Region China — Description and travel. This site uses cookies.

However, From Heaven Lake is not your usual travelogue; it deals with much more than just one specific journey; it provides a picture of China in Books by Vikram Seth. She later accused him of wanting to pocket tbrough change when he suggested that rather than all of us line up individually to buy tickets to a palace we were visiting, he could collect our money and do it himself.


Also, It would have been great if Vikram had added more of the beautiful surroundings while he was in Tibet. China — Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu. What really makes this book though is the beautifully descriptive writing. The travel aspects are great – speaking good Chinese, Seth as a foreigner is able to converse well with most of the locals, and in areas where other languages were required he ended up travelling with those who could translate – this makes this book a little different to many similar books by Westerners, who I don’t think always get the same level of cooperation or communication with the Chinese.

His perspective as a cosmopolitan, middle class and highly-educated Indian student allows for some distance from his subject matter, without ever veering into a sense of outsider-superiority, and the warmth in his relationships with a great many of the people he encounters en route is tangible but seldom if ever veers into sentimentality.

From Heaven Lake

Search WorldCat Find items in libraries near you. He then drops off to sleep, and tugs it away.

Skip to content Home About. Just wanted to mention thrlugh up the fantastic work! He does spend an inor This is the first in the long list of travel accounts that I want to read before heading off on my trip. It is a well written travelogue where you will not be able to put the bo After so long I got to read a book that deserves 5 stars. Too bad it’s out of print and hard to find.

But what’s most fascinating on this journey are the conversations he has with ordinary Chinese and Tibetan people, people whom he probably wouldn’t have had a chance to engage with had he travelled through the traditional state-controlled channels. Books have this capacity to surprise me.

I kept thinking it would make a better magazine article than a book. Sometimes they are the behaviours of others. That country was on the verge of relaxing its rules towards foreign visitors, but in Seth still needed police permission to travel anywhere in China, even major cities, let alone sensitive areas like Tibet.


There is no culture that does not have its flute — the reed neh, the recorder, the Japanese shakuhachi, the deep bansuri of Hindustani classical music, the clear or breathy flutes of South America, the high-pitched Chinese flutes.

The result is a wonderful book, full of witty observations, good, clear prose and profound meditations on India and China.

He manages to portray the mysterious beauty snkiang the eastern provinces of China that is a result of a web of changing topography and weather patterns. Yet to hear any flute is, its seems to be, to be drawn into the commonalty of all mankind, Flute music always does this to me: Seth travels through the provinces of Gansu, then Qinghai, and on to Tibet before crossing the land border to Nepal.

I especially enjoyed Seth’s description of the people he met and the warmth and hospitality he received on his journey.

Despite being in a country suspicious of foreigners, Seth managed to hold some political conversations with his fellow travelers that give a peek into the mindset of the local populace. It was not all about the sights to see, but about the getting there too. View all posts by Elen. I had fairly low expectations of this book, and it was surprisingly good. Seth compares and contrasts the successes and failures of India and China in the second half of the twentieth century: It’s a rare experience to read a beautiful travelogue and experience the length and breadth of traveling through China.

I read the book before leaving for my trip to China. Its motive force too is living breath: Each has its specific fingering and compass.