Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Passage to India

Author: E.M. Forster

First line: Except for the Marabar Caves--and they are twenty miles off--the city of Chandrapore presents nothing extraordinary.

Why you should read this book: In a story rich with details of the physical and social landscape of India under British rule, Forster crafts a close-up portrait of the racism and prejudice that accompany the colonialist mindset. When newcomers Mrs. Moore and Miss Quested arrive on the subcontinent, their sense of adventure and belief in Christian love prevents them from assimilating the ideal that Indians and Englishwomen may not associate as intimates, and they embark on an excursion that will stoke the embers of discontent among all the people of Chandrapore. A vivid novel that opens a window onto a fractured world foreign to most readers.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You continue to mourn the day the sun set on the British Empire.

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