Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

Narrated by: Jeanette Winterson
Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
Categories: LGBT, Literature & Fiction
4 out of 5 stars (77 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author’s Whitbread Prize-winning debut - “Winterson has mastered both comedy and tragedy in this rich little novel” (The Washington Post Book World). 

When it first appeared, Jeanette Winterson’s extraordinary debut novel received unanimous international praise, including the prestigious Whitbread Prize for best first fiction. Winterson went on to fulfill that promise, producing some of the most dazzling fiction and nonfiction of the past decade, including her celebrated memoir Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?

Now required reading in contemporary literature, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a funny, poignant exploration of a young girl’s adolescence. 

Jeanette is a bright and rebellious orphan who is adopted into an evangelical household in the dour, industrial North of England and finds herself embroidering grim religious mottoes and shaking her little tambourine for Jesus. But as this budding missionary comes of age, and comes to terms with her unorthodox sexuality, the peculiar balance of her God-fearing household dissolves. Jeanette’s insistence on listening to truths of her own heart and mind - and on reporting them with wit and passion - makes for an unforgettable chronicle of an eccentric, moving passage into adulthood. 

“If Flannery O’Connor and Rita Mae Brown had collaborated on the coming-out story of a young British girl in the 1960s, maybe they would have approached the quirky and subtle hilarity of Jeanette Winterson’s autobiographical first novel.... Winterson’s voice, with its idiosyncratic wit and sensitivity, is one you’ve never heard before.” (Ms. magazine)

©1985 Jeanette Winterson (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

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Great performance of a great book

Jeanette Winterson has always been a favorite—but having her perform it is a real treat.

2 people found this helpful

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I Learned Important Concepts

This is a five star book based not on the story or the quality of the writing but on the lessons it taught me about being a better human being and a better husband.

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quirky and odd

Jeanette Winterson does something quite wonderful in her books, bringing into her art the stories of lesbian women. Some of the books are madcap romps that took place in bawdy theater halls more than 100 years ago, and others occur in more recent times in the home of a religious fanatic.
no matter the setting or the story she gives us unique, vivid characters who happen to be gay. It is wonderful to read the representation.

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a coming of age tale about a young woman raised by a fanatical mother, silently coming to terms with her sexuality. The mother believes that homosexuality is a sin and tries everything she can to dispossess her daughter of that sin. This is an odd, quirky book. The author has threaded several fairy tales through the story. They seem to be figments from the imagination of our protagonist. Little wishful characters showing her that life can be what she wishes. I found them confusing and unnecessary. Is the book novel or memoir? For that you need to read the book.

Also, although the novel is often termed a "lesbian novel" Winterson has objected to the label. She says: "I've never understood why straight fiction is supposed to be for everyone, but anything with a gay character or that includes gay experience is only for queers." I could not agree more.

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just plain great

it was really great to hear Jeanette winterson read her own book. What a boys, what a story!

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Disappointing

I am a huge fan of Jeanette Wintersonne, but this story failed to engage me. Not up to her own high standard.