Saturday, July 10, 2010

E.M. Forster, by Richard Canning

E.M. Forster, by Richard Canning

This short biography of E.M. Forster, part of Hesperus Press' "Brief Lives" series, is an excellent one. It is not, nor is it intended to be, an authoritative work on Forster's life and work. It is, however, a good introduction. In a strictly chronological way, Canning hits the high points, and in so doing, he provides insight into Forster's life, his relationships, public and private.

There's very little discussion of Forster's works, except insofar as they fit within the biographical story. Indeed, if there is any part of the book that could have been elimnated, it is the short last chapter, Afterlife, which is as close as Cannign comes to literary criticism. It seems oddly out of place.

While those who have read Forster will naturally find more in this book than those who have not, it can be read with appreciation by anyone, and any reader will find it informative. Definitely recommended.

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