Tuesday, June 4, 1974

E.M. Forster's A Passage to India published 50 years ago

First posted 7/5/2020.

A Passage to India

E.M. Forster

First Publication: June 4, 1924

Category: novel about culture clash

Sales: ?

Accolades (click on badges to see full lists):

  • James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction
About the Book:

“Among the greatest novels of the twentieth century and the basis for director David Lean’s Academy Award-winning film.” AZ “The novel is based on Forster’s experiences in India, deriving the title from Walt Whitman’s 1870 poem ‘Passage to India’ in Leaves of Grass.” WK

The book is set “set against the backdrop of the British Raj and the Indian independence movement in the 1920s.” WK It “tells of the clash of cultures in British India after the turn of the century. In exquisite prose, Forster reveals the menace that lurks just beneath the surface of ordinary life, as a common misunderstanding erupts into a devastating affair.” AZ

“The story revolves around four characters: Dr. AZ iz, his British friend Mr. Cyril Fielding, Mrs. Moore, and Miss Adela Quested. During a trip to the fictitious Marabar Caves (modeled on the Barabar Caves of Bihar), Adela thinks she finds herself alone with Dr. AZ iz in one of the caves (when in fact he is in an entirely different cave), and subsequently panics and flees; it is assumed that Dr. AZ iz has attempted to assault her. AZ iz's trial, and its run-up and aftermath, bring to a boil the common racial tensions and prejudices between Indians and the British who rule India.” WK

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