(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)Britain's three-hundred-year relationship with the Indian subcontinent produced much fiction of interest but only one indisputable masterpiece: E. M. Forster's "A Passage to India," published in 1924, at the height of the Indian independence movement. Centering on an ambiguous incident between a young Englishwoman of uncertain stability and an Indian doctor eager to know his conquerors better, Forster's book explores, with unexampled profundity, both the historical chasm between races and the eternal one between individuals struggling to ease their isolation and make sense of their humanity.
About the Author
Edward Morgan Forster's most homosexual works are the two published posthumously, his novel Maurice, written in 1913 but not published until 1971, and a collection of short stories titled The Life to Come. Forster's other works were published as he wrote them. None contained overtly homosexual themes, although what readers would now refer to as a "gay sensibility" is present in all. Forster was a prolific writer in his youth but ceased to write at age forty-five. Forster never married and was well-known among his friends to be homosexual. However, he remained celibate until the age of thirty-eight when he visited Egypt and had sex with a wounded soldier he met on the beach. He lived a closeted life, but eventually enjoyed a loving relationship with a married policeman named Bob Buckingham. The two met when Forster was fifty-one, Buckingham twenty-eight, and the relationship lasted forty years. Before meeting Buckingham, Forster had much briefer affairs with another policeman and a bus driver.
Margaret Forster is the author of best-selling memoirs, "Hidden Lives" and "Precious Lives," acclaimed biographies of Daphne du Maurier and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and of many successful novels, most recently "The Memory Box,"
“A Passage to India is one of the great books of the twentieth century and has had enormous influence. We need its message of tolerance and understanding now more than ever. Forster was years ahead of his time, and we ought to try to catch up with him.” –Margaret Drabble
“The crystal clear portraiture, the delicate conveying of nuances of thought and life, and the astonishing command of his medium show Forster at the height of his powers.” –The New York Times
“[Forster is] a supreme storyteller . . . The novel seems to me more completely ‘achieved’ than anything else he wrote.” –from the new Introduction by P. N. Furbank