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Two Lives by Vikram Seth
The Two Lives of this book's title refer to Vikram Seth's great-aunt and great-uncle, Helga "Henny" Gerda Caro and Shanti Behari Seth. Shanti came to Germany in the 1930s to study dentistry, and was a boarder with a Jewish family, the Caros. Shanti was unable to find work after finishing school, so he moved to England. Henny fled to Germany in 1939 and was met by Shanti. Shanti served in the Dental Corps during the war and lost an arm in the process. Henny's family was sent to the concentration camps. After the war, Henny and Shanti wed. Their lives together spanned most of the century having lived through some of the worst of times. Years later, their nephew Vikram stayed with them when he came to study in London. Vikram Seth's extraordinary story of their two lives has received positive reviews with the London Times saying, "In recent years, there have been countless memoirs based on family papers, yet few are as moving and illuminating as Two Lives."