An unsuitable delay



The success of Vikram Seth's 1993 novel A Suitable Boy prompted feverish interest in its proposed sequel. Provisionally titled A Suitable Girl, the rights to the second instalment were acquired by the British publisher Hamish Hamilton in 2009, who advanced $1.7m to the author.

That figure represented a suitably large figure for what was likely to be a suitably large novel. A Suitable Boy was a hefty 1,349 pages, pushing it firmly into the realms of heavyweight fiction. There was no reason to doubt its sequel would be anything less than a doorstopper too.

Four years after Seth bagged his large advance, Hamish Hamilton's newly formed parent company - Penguin Random House - are not at all happy. With A Suitable Girl's manuscript nowhere to be seen, they've asked for their money back.

There are, however, mitigating circumstances for its non-arrival. Seth, who describes himself as both obsessive and lazy, took eight years to deliver A Suitable Boy and hasn't published any new fiction since 1999.

In truth, the reader might actually be the winner here. When it does arrive, A Suitable Girl will doubtless be, in sheer weight alone, another big read. Who has the time these days to wade through 1,400 pages? That's an awful lot of bedtimes.

Racecard:

6.30pm: Mazrat Al Ruwayah (PA) | Group 2 | US$55,000 (Dirt) | 1,600 metres

7.05pm: Meydan Sprint (TB) | Group 2 | $250,000 (Turf) | 1,000m

7.40pm: Firebreak Stakes | Group 3 | $200,000 (D) | 1,600m

8.15pm: Meydan Trophy | Conditions (TB) | $100,000 (T) | 1,900m

8.50pm: Balanchine | Group 2 (TB) | $250,000 (T) | 1,800m

9.25pm: Handicap (TB) | $135,000 (D) | 1,200m

10pm: Handicap (TB) | $175,000 (T) | 2,410m.

ODI FIXTURE SCHEDULE

First ODI, October 22
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Second ODI, October 25
Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune

Third ODI, October 29
Venue TBC

EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS

Estijaba – 8001717 –  number to call to request coronavirus testing

Ministry of Health and Prevention – 80011111

Dubai Health Authority – 800342 – The number to book a free video or voice consultation with a doctor or connect to a local health centre

Emirates airline – 600555555

Etihad Airways – 600555666

Ambulance – 998

Knowledge and Human Development Authority – 8005432 ext. 4 for Covid-19 queries

Seven Winters in Tehran

Director : Steffi Niederzoll

Starring: Reyhaneh Jabbari, Shole Pakravan, Zar Amir Ebrahimi

Rating: 4/5

LIST OF INVITEES

Shergo Kurdi (am) 
Rayhan Thomas
Saud Al Sharee (am)
Min Woo Lee
Todd Clements
Matthew Jordan
AbdulRahman Al Mansour (am)
Matteo Manassero
Alfie Plant
Othman Al Mulla
Shaun Norris


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