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‘Why can’t we be friends?’: Passage to India and The Grass is Singing

10 September 2019,11:00 am - 8 October 2019,1:15 pm



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In this course, we examine two great twentieth century novels that explore the everyday realities of life in the British Empire. E. M Forster’s novel is set in the 1920s Indian Raj and Doris Lessing’s traces the lives and shifting relationships of a Rhodesian farming community over decades. In both, racial conflict is never far from the surface, and explodes into violence and recrimination, yet relationships develop across racial divides. Characters are locked in a relationship with a natural environment that can be hostile and is still home, and with the changing tides of political history. These novels, though very different in tone and setting are, in my humble opinion, two of the richest and subversive ‘Empire’ novels in the canon that gesture towards the post-colonial fiction of Salman Rushdie, J. M Coetzee and G. G Marquez.

This course runs over 5 weeks: 3 classes on Passage to India; 2 on Grass is Singing.

It comes as a package at £255 and this includes weekly resources, and refreshments of tea and cake in the break.


10 September 2019,11:00 am
8 October 2019,1:15 pm
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The livingroom
Percy Road
London, United Kingdom
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