After a long separation, two English brothers meet in India. Oliver, the idealistic younger brother, prepares to take his final vows as a Hindu monk. Patrick, a successful publisher with a wife and children in London and a male lover in California, has publicly admired his brother’s convictions while privately criticizing his choices.
First published in 1967, A Meeting by the River delicately depicts the complexity of sibling relationships—the resentment and competitiveness as well as the love and respect. Ultimately, the brothers’ exposure to each other’s differences deepens their awareness of themselves. In A Meeting by the River, Christopher Isherwood dramatizes the conflict between sexuality and spirituality that inspired his late writings.
Christopher Isherwood (1902–1986) lived in Berlin from 1928 to 1933 and immigrated to the United States in 1939. A major figure in twentieth-century fiction and the gay rights movement, he wrote more than twenty books.