A Suitable Boy took Vikram Seth eight years to write
Author Vikram Seth is writing a sequel to his epic bestseller A Suitable Boy, which is due to come out in 2013 - 20 years after the original was published.
A Suitable Boy followed a young girl's search for a husband set against the political backdrop of the newly-independent India of the 1950s.
Seth said the follow-up, A Suitable Girl, would continue the story in the present, not "in 1952 where I left it".
The 1,350 page original sold more than a million copies.
In A Suitable Boy, central character Lata's mother looked for a bridegroom for her.
Seth said that, in his "jump sequel", Lata would be an old woman searching for a wife for her grandson "whether he is thinking about it or not".
"That allows me in a sense to bring a whole lot of post-independence history to bear on the novel," he added.
"It allows me to live in the present.
"I'm doing something quite different to keep myself interested rather than just writing another historical book that I've written before."
He said he hoped it could be "read by a person who hasn't read the other book as well as by people who have".
A Suitable Boy took Seth, now 57, eight years to write.
He has reportedly been paid a seven-figure sum for the sequel, but refused to comment on the speculation.
"Money isn't the motivation," he said. "I certainly fight hard for it because I want to make a living and I don't have patrons... but I spend most of my time writing poetry, for example, and there is nothing less remunerative."