Screenwriter Andrew Davies is to adapt Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy for BBC1, in the novel's first screen adaptation. The famously lengthy novel will be made into an eight-part series, each episode an hour long.
A Suitable Boy tells the story of Lata, a young woman coming of age in northern India in 1951, with three different suitors vying for her hand. It is set against a tumultuous political backdrop of India at a crossroads. It was first published by Weidenfeld & NIcolson in 1993.
The author said: "It is a great pleasure to collaborate with the BBC and Andrew Davies on an adaptation of A Suitable Boy. I have carried with me for a long time the stories of Lata, her family and the many people they encounter. With Andrew and his team I feel they are in good hands, and I greatly look forward to seeing them brought to life for television."
Davies said Lata was "a great literary heroine in the tradition of Jane Austen and George Eliot". He continued: "But behind her stands a massive supporting cast of striking, funny, irrepressible characters and a vision of India in the 1950s that no reader can ever forget. It will make a wonderful series and I can't wait to bring the magic of the book to life on screen."
The series will be filmed on location in India. The production is by Lookout Point, the company behind the recent adaptation, also by Davies, of Tolstoy's War and Peace. That equally epic book was compressed into just six episodes; Davies later said he wished he had made the adaptation longer.
Seth is currently writing a sequel, A Suitable Girl, for Orion.