Open Book: A Passage to India

BBC Radio 4: Open Book



A Passage to India


It took EM Forster 11 years to write his great novel of empire, A Passage to India. “When I began the book I thought of it as a little bridge of sympathy between East and West”, but then, he said, “my sense of truth forbids anything so comfortable.” Now, 100 years after its publication, Shahidha Bari revisits Forster’s novel: asking why it means so much to writers and asks how well it stands up to the scrutiny of modern readers.

When it was published in 1924, against the backdrop of decolonisation and Indian independence movements, the novel made an immediate impact exploring deeply moral questions about race and nationhood, and the possibility of friendship and misunderstanding.

Shahidha is joined by novelist Neel Mukherjee, author and literary critic, Elizabeth Lowry and Dr Chris Mourant, Lecturer at the University of Birmingham and editor of Cambridge University Press’s forthcoming edition of A Passage to India.

Book List – Sunday 23 June

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster (Edited by Dr Chris Mourant, Cambridge University Press’s forthcoming edition.)
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster (1947 Everyman Edition)
A Room With A View by E.M. Forster
Howards End by E.M. Forster
Maurice by E.M. Forster
A Life Apart by Neel Mukherjee
The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee
Choices by Neel Mukherjee
The Chosen by Elizabeth Lowry
Solaris by Stanisław Lem
Aspects of the Novel by E.M Forster