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The New Yorker: "Galgut expertly draws out the emotional and intellectual undercurrents of Forster's most committed relationship."

Date: Dec 22 2014

Arctic Summer, by Damon Galgut (Europa). This biographical novel traces the life of E. M. Forster as he writes “A Passage to India,” his last published novel, and works inconclusively on “Maurice,” a novel of homosexual love that he never dared publish. Forster yearns for intimacy, but sexual encounters with men during his travels in India and Egypt are mostly either fleeting or curtailed by forces outside his control. Lust remains “a question without an answer.” Forster’s self-silencing tendencies make him a challenging protagonist for a novel, but Galgut expertly draws out the emotional and intellectual undercurrents of Forster’s most committed relationship, with an Egyptian tram conductor. In that sense, the narrative is at its most involving when Forster himself is most involved.