A revelatory narrative charting the lives and works of legendary authors Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster and D. H. Lawrence during 1922, the birth year of modernism
The world broke in two in 1922 or thereabouts, ' the American author Willa Cather once wrote. Yet for Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster and D. H. Lawrence, 1922 began with a frighteningly blank page. Eliot was in Switzerland recovering from a nervous breakdown. Forster was grappling with unrequited love. Woolf and Lawrence, meanwhile, were both in bed with the flu. Confronting illness, personal problems and the spectral ghost of World War I, all four felt literally at a loss for words. At the same time, with the publication of Joyce 's Ulysses and Proust 's In Search of Lost Time, the literary ground was shifting beneath their feet.
As dismal as things seemed, 1922 turned out to be a year of outstanding creative renaissance for them all. By the end of the year Woolf had started Mrs Dalloway, Forster had returned to work on A Passage to India, Lawrence had written his heavily autobiographical novel Kangaroo, and Eliot had finished and published to great acclaim The Waste Land '. Each discovered their own private literary way to bridge their problems and the lost time of the war. In doing so, they changed the face of literature.
Full of surprising insights and original research, Bill Goldstein 's The World Broke in Two chronicles the intertwined lives and works of these four writers in a crucial year of change.