IT IS DISAPPOINTING to find your reviewer, Candia McWilliam (Books, 21 March) repeating what she acknowledges to be mere gossip about my alleged sneer at Vikram Seth ('I hear you've written a soap opera'). For the record, I didn't say it. I am at present a few hundred pages into A Suitable Boy and like many of its reviewers, including McWilliam, find it an attractive and likeable fiction. I admire the ambition of the project and the easy grace with which it is achieved.
It is true that while Vikram and I have both tried to express in books the superabundance of India, we set about our tasks rather differently. That is no reason for people to attempt - unsuccessfully, I hope - to create difficulties between us.