While the terms used on a ship sound familiar to me, I often don't really know what they mean. Many people recognize that a cabin is a room, and a porthole is a window, but what exactly is a purser, and which direction is the stern? If you're not sure, the definitions of the seafaring expressions below - all used in The Cat's Table - might help you navigate the book.
The ship in The Cat's Table is an Orient Line vessel, much like the 1948 P&O Orient Liner pictured below, which Mynah describes as a "castle that was to cross the sea."
This article was originally published in October 2011, and has been updated for the
June 2012 paperback release.
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