Of priests and prophets

Susana Onega

in Jeanette Winterson

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780719068386
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701126 | DOI:
Of priests and prophets

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This chapter discusses Winterson's first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. The back cover of the 1990 Pandora Press edition described Oranges as the ‘touching and humorous account of an unusual childhood with an extraordinary mother’. The unusual child is a little girl teasingly called Jeanette who, like Jeanette Winterson, lives in a working-class town in Lancashire with her adoptive parents, Jack and Louie. Like Winterson's own mother, the fictional Jeanette's foster mother is a militant member of the Pentecostal Evangelical Church and has taken great pains to educate her daughter in her faith. The novel relates Jeanette's process of maturation from admiring and obedient child, to rebellious adolescent and ideologically self-assured and free adult, as the progressive revelation of her lesbianism clashes with her mother's religious and moral ideas.

Keywords: Jeanette Winterson; women writers; women authors; lesbian writers; feminist novels; lesbianism

Chapter.  16190 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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