Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut
first published 2014, hardcover
This masterpiece novel -- by the internationally acclaimed, young South African writer Damon Galgut--about E.M. Forster, his life, struggles with homosexuality, and the writing of his universally loved novel A Passage to India will call to mind the international success of Colm Toibin's The Master. For readers of Colm Toibin, Ian McEwan, and J.M. Coetzee.
In 1912, the SS Birmingham approaches India. On board is Morgan Forster, novelist and man of letters, who is embarking on a journey of discovery. As Morgan stands on deck, the promise of a strange new future begins to take shape before his eyes. The seeds of a story start to gather at the corner of his mind: a sense of impending menace, lust in close confines, under a hot, empty sky. It will be another twelve years, and a second, and much longer time spent in India, before A Passage to India, E.M. Forster's most beloved work of literature, is completed. During these years, Morgan will come to a recognition of his homosexuality and of the infinite subtleties and complexities of human nature.Arctic Summer is an intimate portrait of the man who became one of Britain's finest novelists, his struggle to find a way of living and being, and a stunningly vivid evocation of the mysterious alchemy of the creative process. Galgut animates the literary times in which Forster lived with encounters with some of the writers of the day, including Virginia and Leonard Woolf and D.H. Lawrence Galgut also brilliantly and poignantly describes Forster's two closest relationships, enduring and sadly unfulfilled. Arctic Summer is a literary masterpiece, by one of the finest writers of his generation.