Story Title: ‘Marseille Tip’ by Niven Govinden.
Collection/Anthology?: Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology 4 (Bristol Review of Books)
Briefly: Stepping off a ship in Marseille to await his connecting liner to India, Senneevasen strikes up a brief but memorable relationship with a fifteen-year-old Congolese baggage porter.
Afterthoughts: Although Niven Givinden is something of a literary heavyweight (he’s published two novels to date and written short stories for a number of prestigious publications) I’ve never read him before. And all I can say after reading Marseille Tip is that I wish I’d read him sooner. Govinden has a certain lavishness to his prose which is enriched with his own cultural heritage.
This story in particular has a profound quality to it, as a native Indian returning to Bombay from London in the 60s(?) figures out how he can avoid looking like the abject failure that he is. He test runs a solution that he’s come up with, on the Congolese boy.
This story was read as part of a review of the Bristol Review of Books Anthology 4. If you want to find out more about this collection then I invite you to pop along to my forethoughts post for this title. I also encourage you to make a trip over to the publisher page for this title.