Jeanette Winterson’s bold and revelatory novels have established her as a major figure in world literature. This memoir is the chronicle of a life’s work to find happiness. It is a book full of stories: about a girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night; about a religious zealot disguised as a mother who has two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the dresser drawer; about growing up in a north England industrial town in the 1960s and 1970s; and about the universe as a cosmic dustbin.
"The Title Says It All"
Winner of the Whitbread Prize for best first fiction. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a coming-out novel from Winterson, the acclaimed author of The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. The narrator, Jeanette, cuts her teeth on the knowledge that she is one of God’s elect, but as this budding evangelical comes of age and comes to terms with her preference for her own sex, the peculiar balance of her God-fearing household crumbles.
Jeanette Winterson joins Robin Morgan in the Audible Studios in this exclusive interview. Jeanette discusses her latest collection of short stories (and recipes) for Christmas and the experience of recording audiobooks and shares some recommendations from her own library.
"Interview with Author Jeanette Winterson"
Nightwood, Djuna Barnes's strange and sinuous tour de force novel unfolds in the decadent shadows of Europe's great cities, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna - a world in which the boundaries of class, religion, and sexuality are bold but surprisingly porous. The outsized characters who inhabit this world are some of the most memorable in all of fiction.
In The Gap of Time, Jeanette Winterson's cover version of The Winter's Tale, we move from London, a city reeling after the 2008 financial crisis, to a storm-ravaged American city called New Bohemia. Her story is one of childhood friendship, money, status, technology, and the elliptical nature of time. Written with energy and wit, this is a story of the consuming power of jealousy on the one hand and redemption and the enduring love of a lost child on the other.
With her typical wit and verve, Jeanette Winterson brings Atlas into the 21st century. Simultaneously, she asks her own difficult questions about the nature of choice and coercion, and how we forge our own destiny. Visionary and inventive, yet completely believable and relevant to our lives today, Winterson's skill in turning the familiar on its head and showing us a different truth is once more put to dazzling effect.
"Great Philsophical Re-telling of a Myth"
When Jeanette Winterson left home at 16 because she was in love with a woman, Mrs. Winterson asked her: "Why be happy when you could be normal?" This book is the story of a life's work to find happiness. It is the story of how the painful past returned to haunt Jeanette's later life, and send her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her real mother. It is also a book about other people's stories, showing how fiction and poetry can form a string of guiding lights, a life raft which supports us when we are sinking.
"Sharing her story"
These tales open a portal into the spirit of the season, when time slows down and magic starts to happen. From trees with mysterious powers to a tinsel baby that talks, philosophical fairies to flying dogs, a haunted house to a disappearing train, Winterson's innovative stories encompass the childlike and spooky wonder of Christmas, perfect for listening to by the fire with loved ones or while traveling home for the holidays.
After the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, every Catholic conspirator in England fled to a wild, untamed place far from the reach of London law. On Good Friday, 1612, deep in the woods of Pendle Hill, amid baptismal pools and low, thick fog, a gathering of 13 is interrupted by the local magistrate. Two of their coven have already been imprisoned for witchcraft and are awaiting trial, but those who remain are vouched for by the wealthy and respected Alice Nutter.
"waste of time."
Jeanette Winterson tackles her own reality in her riveting memoir. In this remarkable book she confronts the various paths her childhood took from being raised by a religious zealot who kept a gun in the dresser to pondering her sexuality and other core parts of her identity and the search for her biological mother. Funny, acute, fierce, and celebratory, this is a tough-minded search for belonging, for love, a mother, an identity, and a home. In conversation with A.M. Homes.
Henri had a passion for Napoleon, and Napoleon had a passion for chicken. From Boulogne to Moscow Henri butchered for his emperor and never killed a single man. Meanwhile, in Venice, the city of chance and disguises, Villanelle was born with the webbed feet of her boatman father - but in the casinos she gambled her heart and lost. As the soldier-chef's love for Napoleon turns to hate, he finds the Venetian beauty, and together they flee to the canals of darkness.
"I saw the strangest sight tonight." New Bohemia. America. A storm. A black man finds a white baby abandoned in the night. He gathers her up - light as a star - and decides to take her home. London. England. After the financial crash. Leo Kaiser knows how to make money, but he doesn't know how to manage the jealousy he feels towards his best friend and his wife. Is his newborn baby even his?
Set in 17th-century London, Sexing the Cherry is about the journeys taken by the boisterous Dog-Woman and her son, Jordan: journeys across seas to find bananas and pineapples; journeys through time that weave snatches of the present with tales of Charles the First and Oliver Cromwell; journeys in search of the self. As mothers go, the Dog-Woman takes some beating. She's a giant wrapped in a skirt that could 'serve as a sail for some war torn ship' and strong enough to fling an elephant into the air.
Good Friday, 1612. Pendle Hill, Lancashire. A mysterious gathering of 13 people is interrupted by local magistrate Roger Nowell. Is this a witches' Sabbat? Two notorious Lancashire witches are already in Lancaster Castle awaiting trial. Why is the beautiful and wealthy Alice Nutter defending them? And why is she among the group of 13 on Pendle Hill? Elsewhere, a starved, abused child lurks. And a Jesuit priest and former Gunpowder plotter, recently returned from France, is widely rumoured to be heading for Lancashire. But who will offer him sanctuary?
For years Jeanette Winterson has loved writing a new story at Christmastime, and here she brings together 12 of her brilliantly imaginative, funny and bold tales. For the 12 Days of Christmas - a time of celebration, sharing and giving - she offers these 12 plus one: a personal story of her own Christmas memories. These tales give the listener a portal into the spirit of the season, where time slows down and magic starts to happen. Perfect for listening to by the fire with loved ones or while traveling home for the holidays.
David Remnick assesses the successes and failures of the Obama Presidency with some of The New Yorker’s heavyweight politics reporters. Jeanette Winterson remembers Christmas as a singular bright spot in her Dickensian childhood, and the poet Ocean Vuong shares one of his favorite places to write: a busy Asian food court in Flushing, Queens.
The Myth of Atlas and Heracles retold and performed by Dick Hill and Susie Breck. Condemned to shoulder the world "for ever" by the gods he dared defy, freedom seems unattainable to Atlas. But then he receives an unexpected visit from Heracles, the one man strong enough to share the burden, and it seems they can strike a bargain that might release him. Jeanette Winterson asks difficult questions about the nature of choice and coercion in her dazzling retelling of the myth of Atlas and Heracles.