A powerful exploration of the clash between two opposing worlds, Forster's Arctic Summer posits the instinctive bravery of the traditional hero alongside the tolerance of the modern man, calling into question the very essence of the gentlemanly code. Embarking on a tour of Italy with his wife and mother-in-law, Martin Whitby slips and falls under a train. Owing his rescue to the quick thinking of a young soldier, he feels obliged to thank the youth, and so pursues the acquaintance. The two men differ sharply in outlook and opinion, however, and part rudely. But once back in England, Martin finds himself called upon by the soldier with an urgent request for help.
Novelist E.M. Forster (1879 - 1970) is best known for the works A Room With a View, Howards End and A Passage to India. Indian-born Anita Desai is one of the foremost writers of the day. Her best-known novels include In Custody (1984) and Boumgartner's Bombay (1988) and more recently, the Booker shortlisted Fasting, Feasting (2000).