A revelatory narrative of the intersecting lives and works of Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster and D. H. Lawrence during 1922, the birth year of modernism
The World Broke in Two tells the fascinating story of the intellectual journey four legendary writers, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, and D. H. Lawrence, make over the course of one pivotal year. As 1922 begins, all four writers are literally at a loss for words, confronting an uncertain creative future despite success in the past. The literary ground is shifting beneath their feet, as Ulysses is published and Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past is translated into English. Yet, dismal as they felt in January, by the end of the year Woolf has started Mrs. Dalloway, Forster has returned to the pages that would become Passage to India, Lawrence has begun Kangaroo, and Eliot has finished “The Waste Land.”
As Willa Cather put it, “The world broke in two in 1922 or thereabouts,” and what these writers were struggling with that year was in fact the invention of modernism. Based on original research in libraries and archives, The World Broke in Two captures both the literary breakthroughs and the intense personal dramas of these beloved writers as they strive for greatness.