Beautiful reissue of this wonderful Fitzgerald backlist title, shortlisted for the 1991 Booker Prize 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.
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.