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A Twenty-First-century reimagining of The Canterbury Tales, set on a vacation cruise in the midst of the pandemic; a wonderful story for our time


Hoping for an adventure (at a discounted price), two dozen strangers set sail for balmy St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. As different from one another as strangers can be, they agree to pass the time by telling stories. As the passengers share their stories, they begin to learn some astonishing things about their neighbors. 


Then, partway through the voyage, they are notified about a virus that has spread across the United States and their destination. The ship is quarantined, and they are destined to loll on the waves of the open sea until a port welcomes them. 


Stuck together in the confines of the ship, the group continues to regale each other with ingenious tales. A Journey to St. Thomas is a modern reimagining of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Josiah Hatch, who studied Anglo Saxon and Middle English languages at Oxford University, writes in iambic pentameter, craftily updating Chaucer’s characters to those on the present-day cruise liner. Touching on topics that include political differences and discord, elitism, economic hardship, and the perceived inability of the ordinary citizen to make a difference, this rich and innovative novel captures the humor, insight, and pathos of the original while telling a very modern story.


Josiah speaks with us about A Journey to St. Thomas

Journey to St. Thomas: Tales for Our Time

  • FICTION / Adaptations & Pastiche


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