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In this Readers' Guide, Betty Jay considers the establishment of Forster's reputation and the various attempts of critics to decipher the complex codes that are a feature of his novel. Successive chapters focus on debates around Forster's liberal-humanism, with essays from F. R. Leavis, Lionel Trilling and Malcolm Bradbury; on the indeterminacy and ambiguity of the text, with extracts from essays by Gillian Beer, Robert Barratt, Wendy Moffat and Jo-Ann Hoeppner Moran; and on the sexual politics of Forster's work, with writings from Elaine Showalter, Frances L. Restuccia and Eve Dawkins Poll. The Guide concludes with essays from Jeffrey Meyers and Jenny Sharpe, who read A Passage to India in terms of its engagement with British imperialism.
'A Delicious and Terrible Book': The Reception of A Passage to India
• 'For Want of a Smile an Empire is to be Lost': Forster's Liberal Humanism
• 'The Architecture of Question and Answer': Narration and Negation
• 'Centuries of Carnal Embracement': Forster's Sexual Politics
• 'English Crime': Writing History and Empire