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Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Paperback – August 20, 1997
Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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"A striking, quirky, delicate, and intricate work . . . Winterson has mastered both comedy and tragedy in this rich little novel. . . . Winterson's great gift is evident." The Washington Post Book World
"A daring, unconventional comic novel . . . by employing quirky anecdotes, which are told with romping humor, and by splicing various parables into the narrative, Winterson allows herself the dangerous luxury of writing a novel that refuses to rely on rousing plot devices. . . . A fascinating debut . . . A penetrating novel." Chicago Tribune
"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.
"The overwhelming impression of her work is one of remarkable self-confidence, and she evidently thrives on risk . As good as Poe: it dares you to laugh and stares you down." The New York Review of Books
"An explosively imaginative writer." The London Free Press
"She is a master of her material, a writer [of] great talent." Muriel Spark
"Many consider her to be the best living writer in this language." Evening Standard
"The most interesting writer I have read in twenty years." Gore Vidal
About the Author
Jeanette Winterson is a novelist whose honors include England's Whitbread Award and the American Academy's E.M. Forster Award. With her debut in the early eighties, " Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit", she soon won the praise of such masters as Gore Vidal ("the most interesting young writer I have read in twenty years"). She lives in London and the Costwolds.
Top Customer Reviews
The girl soaks it up -- to a point. Things begin to come apart, inevitably, and later still, as a teen, there's the narrator's growing knowledge that she is passionately, yearningly, and quite happily in love with a girl her age named Katy -- and no amount of exorcism will change that. The affair proceeds. Winterson is smart enough to put it all together with grace and humor. Her bright and resourceful protagonist travels a great and difficult path, avoiding all the predictable plot formulas. No whining or self-pity, either.
There is incisive wit, a smart and brave presentation of the (sometimes appalling) facts; very good use of myth, history and politics, fairy tales, Bible and church miscellany; amazing observation. This is a detailed and often funny picture of a truly strange household, a great girl, and there's a lot of love -- in this wonderful novel.
No less importantly, it's the first look at a word smith of the finest calibre. Every word has import and can build, nuance by nuance, into breathtaking metaphors that only emerge after you've finished the book and find yourself thinking about it. I like to read Winterson out loud, because hearing words and reading them are two different experiences.
This book is a must read because the true high art of lesbian-themed writing is found here.
Jeanette is an orphan child adopted my a fanatic Evangelical woman who believes that the child is sent to her by God. Jeanette's mother raises her with three strict ideas in mind for her- one, that she will be a missionary child... two, that she will be a servant of God... and three, that she will be a blessing. Her strict moral upbringing causes her severe grief when her mother has to enroll her into school at the age of seven. The children, the teachers, and even the administrators find her preaching attitude a bit unnerving. As a child her only friend is an older woman named Elsie Norris who is a bit of an eccentric, and her life is completely dominated by her mother's quest to convert all of the heathens in the world.
But when she is 14 she meets a young woman from the fish market who will compromise everything that Jeanette knows about herself, but does not bring her to lose her faith in God. Rather the opposite, through a series of events during this friendship she finds herself being drawn closer into the fervor of her faith. It is not until the affair comes to a climax that Jeanette really begins to question the path her mother has set her on.
"He turned to me.
`I love her.'
`Then you do not love God.'
`Yes, I love both of them.'
The book skillfully touches on the controversy of homosexuality in the Christian community, and deals with many of the biased points of views of that religion that still exists to this day. This is a tremendous book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Going back after a long time will make you mad, because the people you left behind do not like to think of you changed, will treat you as they always did, accuse you of being... Read morePublished 10 hours ago by Alyssa
Written in a striking way so I did finish the book. But I dont think it added to me all that much.Published 2 months ago by iaktug
I initially heard the author on a podcast and thought that this book would be a quick, comical read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by catherine
I checked this book out to reread it for the tenth time. I love the fairytales and I never get tired of the way she weaves the plot of her life together. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Elyse Tierney
I read Why Be happy When You Could be Normal first (found it in a library in my apartment building) and then found out about Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, a novel which is based... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Donna Hill
Loved every minute of this book. It helped change the course of my life.Published 5 months ago by Marco A. Quezada