Jeanette Winterson

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Jeanette Winterson

Winterson in 2015
Winterson in 2015
Born (1959-08-27) 27 August 1959 (age 63)
Manchester, England, UK
OccupationWriter, journalist, Professor at the University of Manchester
NationalityBritish
Period1985–present
GenreFiction, children's fiction, journalism, science fiction
Notable worksOranges Are Not the Only Fruit
Spouse
(m. 2015; sep. 2019)
[1]
PartnerPeggy Reynolds
(1990–2002)
Website
www.jeanettewinterson.com

Jeanette Winterson CBE (born 27 August 1959) is an English writer. Her first book, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was a semi-autobiographical novel about a sensitive teenage girl rebelling against convention. Other novels explore gender polarities and sexual identity and later ones the relations between humans and technology.[3] She broadcasts and teaches creative writing. She has won a Whitbread Prize for a First Novel, a BAFTA Award for Best Drama, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the E. M. Forster Award and the St. Louis Literary Award, and the Lambda Literary Award twice. She holds an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Early life[edit]

Winterson was born in Manchester and adopted by Constance and John William Winterson on 21 January 1960.[4] She grew up in Accrington, Lancashire, and was raised in the Elim Pentecostal Church. She was raised to become a Pentecostal Christian missionary, and she began evangelising and writing sermons at the age of six.[5][6]

By the age of 16, Winterson had come out as a lesbian and left home.[7][8][9] She soon after attended Accrington and Rossendale College,[10] and supported herself at a variety of odd jobs while reading English at Oxford University.[11]

Career[edit]

After she moved to London, she wrote her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, which won the 1985 Whitbread Prize for a First Novel. Winterson adapted it for television in 1990. Her novel The Passion was set in Napoleonic Europe.

Winterson's subsequent novels explore the boundaries of physicality and the imagination, gender polarities, and sexual identities, and have won several literary awards. Her stage adaptation of The PowerBook in 2002 opened at the Royal National Theatre, London. She also bought a derelict terraced house in Spitalfields, east London, which she refurbished into an occasional flat and a ground-floor shop, Verde's, to sell organic food.[12][13][14] In January 2017 she discussed closing the shop when a spike in rateable value, and so business rates, threatened to make the business untenable.[15][16][17]

In 2009, Winterson donated the short story "Dog Days" to Oxfam's Ox-Tales project, covering four collections of UK stories by 38 authors. Her story appeared in the Fire collection.[18] She also supported the relaunch of the Bush Theatre in London's Shepherd's Bush. She wrote and performed work for the Sixty Six Books project, based on a chapter of the King James Bible, along with other novelists and poets including Paul Muldoon, Carol Ann Duffy, Anne Michaels and Catherine Tate.[19][20]

Winterson's 2012 novella The Daylight Gate, based on the 1612 Pendle Witch Trials, appeared on their 400th anniversary. Its main character, Alice Nutter, is based on the real-life woman of the same name. The Guardian's Sarah Hall describes the work:

"the narrative voice is irrefutable; this is old-fashioned storytelling, with a sermonic tone that commands and terrifies. It's also like courtroom reportage, sworn witness testimony. The sentences are short, truthful – and dreadful.... Absolutism is Winterson's forte, and it's the perfect mode to verify supernatural events when they occur. You're not asked to believe in magic. Magic exists. A severed head talks. A man is transmogrified into a hare. The story is stretched as tight as a rack, so the reader's disbelief is ruptured rather than suspended. And if doubt remains, the text's sensuality persuades."[21]

In 2012, Winterson succeeded Colm Tóibín as professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester.[22]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Winterson came out as a lesbian at the age of 16.[7] Her 1987 novel The Passion was inspired by her relationship with Pat Kavanagh, her literary agent.[34] From 1990 to 2002, Winterson had a relationship with BBC radio broadcaster and academic Peggy Reynolds.[35] After that ended, Winterson became involved with theatre director Deborah Warner. In 2015, she married psychotherapist Susie Orbach, author of Fat is a Feminist Issue.[36] The couple separated in 2019.[3]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1985)
  • Boating for Beginners (1985)
  • Fit for the Future: The Guide for Women Who Want to Live Well (1986)
  • The Passion (1987)
  • Sexing the Cherry (1989)
  • Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit: the script (1990)
  • Written on the Body (1992)
  • Art & Lies: A Piece for Three Voices and a Bawd (1994)
  • Great Moments in Aviation: the script (1995)
  • Art Objects: Essays in Ecstasy and Effrontery (1995) - essays
  • Gut Symmetries (1997)
  • The World and Other Places (1998) - short stories
  • The Dreaming House (1998)
  • The Powerbook (2000)
  • The King of Capri (2003) - children's literature
  • Lighthousekeeping (2004)
  • Weight (2005)
  • Tanglewreck (2006) - children's literature
  • The Stone Gods (2007)
  • The Battle of the Sun (2009)
  • Ingenious (2009)
  • The Lion, The Unicorn and Me: The Donkey's Christmas Story (2009)
  • Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (2011) - memoir
  • The Daylight Gate (2012)
  • The Gap of Time (2015)
  • Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days (2016)[37]
  • Eight Ghosts: The English Heritage Book of New Ghost Stories (2017)
  • Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere (2018)
  • Frankissstein: A Love Story (2019)[38]
  • 12 Bytes: How We Got Here. Where We Might Go Next (2021)[39][40][41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jeanette Winterson: 'The male push is to discard the planet: all the boys are going off into space'". The Guardian. 25 July 2021. Archived from the original on 31 August 2021. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  2. ^ "Jeanette Winterson". Bookclub. 4 April 2010. BBC Radio 4. Archived from the original on 26 November 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b "How the world finally caught up with Jeanette Winterson". www.penguin.co.uk. 26 August 2019. Archived from the original on 4 September 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Jeanette Winterson: all about my mother". The Guardian. London. 29 October 2011. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  5. ^ Brooks, Libby (2 September 2000). "Power surge". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  6. ^ International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies, Volume 6, Number 4 Archived 13 November 2021 at the Wayback Machine. SpringerLink. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  7. ^ a b Smith, Patricia Juliana (23 November 2002). "Winterson, Jeanette (b. 1959)". glbtq.com. Archived from the original on 23 May 2003. Retrieved 4 December 2008.
  8. ^ Jaggi, Maya (28 May 2004). "Redemption songs". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  9. ^ Gold, Tanya (28 October 2011). "Page in the Life: Jeanette Winterson". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 23 November 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  10. ^ "Amazon sorry for book sales error which hit Accrington author". Lancashire Telegraph. 14 April 2009. Archived from the original on 26 August 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Biography". jeanettewinterson.com. 2000. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012.
  12. ^ Kate Kellaway (25 June 2006). "If I Was a Dog, I'd Be a Terrier". The Observer. London. Archived from the original on 23 September 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2008.
  13. ^ Winterson, Jeanette (9 October 2009). "The story of my Spitalfields home". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Archived from the original on 13 January 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019 – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
  14. ^ Winterson, Jeanette (12 June 2010). "Once upon a life: Jeanette Winterson". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 5 July 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2019 – via www.theguardian.com.
  15. ^ Khomami, Nadia (23 January 2017). "Jeanette Winterson to close London shop due to business rates surge". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 13 January 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019 – via www.theguardian.com.
  16. ^ "Sorry Jeanette Winterson, but you're wrong about business rates". The Independent. 26 February 2017. Archived from the original on 13 January 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Jeanette Winterson on the threat of closure to her Spitalfields deli". Evening Standard. 31 January 2017. Archived from the original on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  18. ^ Ox-Tales Archived 20 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Oxfam. Retrieved on 26 August 2011.
  19. ^ The Sixty Six Project Archived 10 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Bush Theatre. Retrieved on 26 August 2011.
  20. ^ Guardian Archived 2 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine "Sixty-Six Books – review" 16 October 2011.
  21. ^ "The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson – review". The Guardian. 16 August 2013. Archived from the original on 4 June 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  22. ^ "Winterson becomes Manchester Professor". The University of Manchester. 14 May 2012. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  23. ^ "Harcourt Publishers Interview with Jeanette Winterson, Lighthousekeeping" Archived 12 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "Television in 1991". awards.bafta.org. Archived from the original on 26 August 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  25. ^ "No. 57855". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2005. p. 13.
  26. ^ "25th annual Lambda Literary Award winners announced" Archived 10 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine. LGBT Weekly, 4 June 2013.
  27. ^ "Saint Louis University Libraries". lib.slu.edu. Archived from the original on 13 January 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  28. ^ Cooperman, Jeannette (16 September 2014). "A Conversation With Jeanette Winterson". St. Louis Magazine. Archived from the original on 13 November 2021. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  29. ^ "BBC 100 Women 2016: Who is on the list?". BBC. BBC. 21 November 2016. Archived from the original on 23 December 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  30. ^ "Jeanette Winterson". The Royal Society of Literature. Archived from the original on 26 April 2018. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  31. ^ "Don't Protect Me - Respect Me". Richard Dimbleby Lecture. Episode 42. 6 June 2018. BBC One. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  32. ^ "The Queen's Birthday Honours List 2018". gov.uk. Archived from the original on 10 June 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  33. ^ Jordan, Justine (24 July 2019). "The Booker prize 2019 longlist's biggest surprise? There aren't many". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 4 September 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019 – via www.theguardian.com.
  34. ^ Gadher, Dipesh (26 October 2008). "Lesbian novelist Jeanette Winterson planned last visit to dying ex-lover". The Sunday Times. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  35. ^ Maya Jaggi (29 May 2004). "Saturday Review: Profile: Jeanette Winterson". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2008.
  36. ^ Stuart Jeffries (22 February 2010). "Jeanette Winterson: 'I thought of suicide'". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 21 July 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  37. ^ Hickling, Alfred (25 November 2016). "Christmas Days by Jeanette Winterson review – cruelty, comfort and joy". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 9 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  38. ^ Thomas-Corr, Johanna (20 May 2019). "Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson review – an inventive reanimation". TheGuardian.com. Archived from the original on 2 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  39. ^ Simpkins, Laura Grace. "12 Bytes review: Jeanette Winterson on AI and making life less binary". New Scientist. Archived from the original on 22 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  40. ^ "Jeanette Winterson's vision of the future of AI is messianic – but unconvincing". 18 August 2021. Archived from the original on 21 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  41. ^ Lowdon, Claire. "12 Bytes by Jeanette Winterson review — but was it written by a robot?". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Archived from the original on 3 August 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.

External links[edit]