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Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (Paperback)
1985 brought us Jeanette Winterson's semi-autobiographic debut novel, in which the protagonist (named Jeanette) is adopted into a strict religious household in northern England. With sharp humor and integrity, Winterson tells the story of a young girl confronting orthodoxy with unorthodoxy and coming into her own against a backdrop that aims to get her to do anything but. Do note Winterson was only 25 when the book was published (!!!). Also, I promise you'll want to read this more than once and share it with your friends.
Picked by Melissa in Prospect Lefferts Gardens— From Staff Picks
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.
"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