Born in Calcutta Vikram Seth was the son of a shoe company executive and a judge. He educated in India, Oxford University and Stanford University in California. He later studied at Nanjing University in China and used his subsequent experiences during a hitchhiking trip from China through Nepal to India to write an award-winning travelogue, From Heaven Lake. Compelling narrative force, strong characterization and ingeniously interrelated plotting give weight to most of his works. In one of his poems he set the background of the Hindu-Muslim conflict that pervaded post-Independence India. The revival of a long-dead love and the interaction of a group of musicians was another subject. Though this piece of work by Vikram has not invoked the critical acclaim of his earlier work however makes yet another new departure. The style and subject always matters for multi-talented author Vikram Seth.
'All You Who Sleep Tonight' is a collection of poems by Vikram Seth. The collection all-total is grouped into five sections. The section includes romantic residues, in other voices, in other places, quatrains, and meditations of the heart. The section 'romantic residues' reflect on feeling of love and their effects as well as after-effects. The second section deals with the viewpoint of people in other times and places E.g. a doctor in Hiroshima on the day of the atomic bomb blast. 'In other places' concentrates about places and people encountered in his travels while 'quatrains' deals on four-line poems on themes as diverse as insomnia and table manners. The last section 'meditation of the heart' lies out from admiration of the Russian poet Irina Ratushinskaya to the title poem of the volume.
The famous book of Vikram Seth is published by the, Knopf, Vintage, as its USA edition while Faber and Faber published the UK edition.
'All You Who Sleep Tonight' is a collection of poems that offers another set of witty, candid, lyrical and highly artistic writing. The poet writes about love in all forms, and poems are short and beautiful. His poems tell of places and moments of pain, but actually they are of the culture and cultures of life. The poem can make the reader laugh, blush as well as cry over the poems. This is a book where poetry makes complete sense.