Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Monday, October 28, 2013

"Crossing the Atlantic" by Jeanette Winterson -2000 A Short Story by the Author of Oranges Are the Only Fruit

Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson was born in Manchester, England in 1959. She was adopted and brought up in Accrington, Lancashire, in the north of England. Her strict Pentecostal Evangelist upbringing provides the background to her acclaimed first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, published in 1985. She graduated from St Catherine's College, Oxford, and moved to London where she worked as an assistant editor at Pandora Press.

One of the most original voices in British fiction to emerge during the 1980s, Jeanette Winterson was named as one of the 20 'Best of Young British Writers' in a promotion run jointly between the literary magazine Granta and the Book Marketing Council.  From Goodreads.  

I have read and posted on three novels by Jeanette Winterson, Passion, Power Book, and her by far most famous work Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit.  I also read and liked a lot her short story, "All I know about Gertrude Stein".  

"Crossing the Atlantic" was a pure delight to read.   I felt sad this morning to learn of the passing of Lou Reed and this story helped lift from me the malaise of this.  It is told by a man in his fifties or so, unmarried, setting out for a voyage from St Lucia to London.  The trip takes eight days and he has booked a room to share.  Of course he expects to be assigned a male roommate and is shocked when a beautiful twenty year old black woman named Gabriel shows up.  It seems the shipping company had assumed Gabriel was a man.  What happens next is beautifully relayed.  I loved this story.  It is about loneliness, racial attitudes, gender assumptions and much more but above all it was a lot of fun to read.

I will and should read more of Winterson's work.


Laura Kozy Lanik said...

I love Jeanette Winterson. I just finished Oranges and reviewed and now I have finished Why be happy when you can be normal, her memoir. AMAZING.
Thanks for the review of her short story.

Mel u said...

Laura, thanks for your comment. I love her work also