Jeanette Winterson

(b. 1959)

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(1959– ),

novelist, born in Manchester, she became the adopted daughter of Pentecostal evangelist parents. Her upbringing and training for evangelistic service, as well as the realization of her lesbian identity, were reflected in her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1985), which was successfully adapted for television in 1990. Boating for Beginners (1985), a comic fable based on the story of Noah, was followed by The Passion (1987), a bawdy historical fantasy, and Sexing the Cherry (1989), a transformation of the fairy tale of the twelve dancing princesses. After Written on the Body (1992), an exploration of gender within a triangular relationship, came the controversial Art and Lies (1994), which extends Winterson's unconventional narrative style through the deployment of three separate voices named Handel, Picasso, and Sappho. The Powerbook (2000), a love story narrated by a writer of interactive fiction, is set in London, Paris, Capri, and cyberspace. Lighthousekeeping (2004) centres on an orphaned girl who is taken in by a lighthouse keeper.

Subjects: Literature.

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