Descripción de editorial
From the Booker Prize-wining author of ‘Offshore’ and ‘the Blue Flower’ - this Booker Prize-shortlisted novel centres on Cambridge Fellow Fred Fairly’s search for a rational riposte to love.
In 1912 Fred Fairly is a Junior Fellow at the college of St Angelicus in Cambridge, where for centuries no female, not even a pussy cat, has been allowed to set foot ("though the starlings couldn't altogether be regulated"). Fred lectures in physics and the questionable nature of matter and worries about the universal problem known in Cambridge at the time as ‘the absurdity of the Mind-Body Relationship’. To Fred this is tormenting rather than absurd. The young woman beside him when he wakes up one evening in the Wrayburns’ spare bedroom might help resolve it, but how can he tell if she is quite what she seems? Fred is a scientist. To him the truth should be everything, and indeed he thinks it is. But scientists make mistakes.
The Gate of Angels is a funny, touching and inspiring look at male-female relationships and the problems caused by thinking just a little too much.
‘Reading a Penelope Fitzgerald novel is like being taken for a ride in a peculiar kind of car. Everything is of top quality – the engine, the coachwork and the interior all fill you with confidence. Then, after a mile or so, someone throws the steering-wheel out of the window.’ Sebastian Faulks
‘Wise and ironic, funny and humane, Fitzgerald is a wonderful, wonderful writer.’ David Nicholls
‘Contains more wit, intelligence and feeling than many novels three times its length.’ Observer
‘Gilbert could have written this and Sullivan set it to music. It shows an Edwardian university at Cambridge at its eccentric best. There are so many characters that are a delight. So many foibles and so much fancifying. Fitzgerald is the only author I know who regularly gets reviews pleading her to write longer books.’ Daily Mail
About the author
Penelope Fitzgerald was one of the most elegant and distinctive voices in British fiction. Three of her novels, The Bookshop, The Beginning of Spring and The Gate of Angels have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She won the Prize in 1979 for Offshore. Her last novel, The Blue Flower, was the most admired novel of 1995, chosen no fewer than nineteen times in the press as the ‘Book of the Year’. It won America’s National Book Critics’ Circle Award, and this helped to introduce her to a wider international readership.
She died in April 2000, at the age of eighty-three.
English writer Fitzgerald ( The Beginning of Spring ; Innocence ) displays a grace and wit that put her on equal footing with such better-known peers as Muriel Spark. Her own novel, shortlisted for the 1990 Booker prize, is set in the mannered quaintness of pre-WW I Cambridge, yet it goes far beyond the usual Wodehousean scenario of brittle dialogue and eccentric dons in flapping robes. The eccentric dons are by no means absent, but Fitzgerald's writing has a depth, resonance and delicacy that create a sense of genuine comedy rather than of farce. Fred Fairly, a junior fellow at St. Angelicus College, wakes from a bicycle accident to discover that, owing to the misjudgment of a good Samaritan, he has been put in a sickroom bed next to the young woman with whom he has collided. Having made the acquaintance of mysterious Daisy Saunders in this unlikely way, Fairly promptly falls in love with her, though as a St. Angelicus fellow he has pledged himself to a life of celibacy. One can count on Fitzgerald to resolve his dilemma in an unexpected fashion, and she is true to form as the novel swerves toward its satisfying conclusion.