Royal Society of Literature: What’s so great about E.M. Forster?

British Library
16 March 7:00 pm


The RSL is taking bookings from Members and Fellows only. Public tickets are available from the British Library website.

A writer of great sensitivity and insight, E.M. Forster’s work explored what it means to be human through inheritance and intimacy, betrayal and the golden threads of kinship. In 2020, 50 years after Forster’s death, we celebrate one of Britain’s most esteemed novelists with writers influenced by his work. Novelist, playwright and memoirist Deborah Levy takes Forster’s words as a mantra: ‘We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.’ Novelist and academic Preti Taneja has written of Forster’s A Passage to India that it ‘haunts writers with the implications of what can be achieved by what is not said.’ Laurence Scott, writer and broadcaster, sees in Forster’s Maurice and the text’s posthumous publication, ‘a major debate of our times: the extent to which the bounds of privacy are being redrawn.’ Their discussion is chaired by BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking’s presenter, Shahidha Bari.

This event will be broadcast by BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking programme and available as an Arts & Ideas podcast.

This event is preceded by an informal RSL Members’ Book Group led by our Director Molly Rosenberg. We will be reading E.M. Forster’s Maurice. Members wishing to attend should book here.



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