A Meeting by the River
A deeply satisfying novel of sibling rivalry, sexuality and spirituality.
Breaking a long silence Oliver, a young Englishman, writes to his elder brother, Patrick. Oliver, the idealistic younger brother is living in a Hindu Monastery and has decided to take his final monastic vows. Patrick, a successful, long-married publisher, newly in love with a boy in Los Angeles, decides to visit Oliver to persuade him not renounce the world.
First published in 1967, A Meeting by the River exposes the complex rivalries of sibling relationships and dramatises the conflict between sexuality and spirituality.
Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986) was one of the most celebrated writers of his generation. He left Cambridge without graduating, briefly studied medicine and then turned to writing his first novels, All the Conspirators and The Memorial. Between 1929 and 1939 he lived mainly abroad, spending four years in Berlin and writing the novels Mr Norris Changes Trains and Goodbye To Berlin on which the musical Cabaret was based. He moved to America in 1939, becoming a US citizen in 1946, and wrote another five novels, including Down There on a Visit and A Single Man, a travel book about South America and a biography of the Indian mystic Ramakrishna. In the late 1960s and '70s he turned to autobiographical works: Kathleen and Frank, Christopher and His Kind, My Guru and His Disciple and October, one month of his diary with drawings by Don Bachardy.