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Jeanette Winterson

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Title: Jeanette Winterson  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of LGBT characters in modern written fiction, List of lesbian fiction, List of Question Time episodes, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, The Stone Gods (novel)
Collection: 1959 Births, 20Th-Century British Novelists, 20Th-Century English Novelists, 20Th-Century Women Writers, 21St-Century British Novelists, 21St-Century Women Writers, Alumni of St Catherine's College, Oxford, British Adoptees, British Women Short Story Writers, Costa Book Award Winners, Crimethinc., English Adoptees, English Memoirists, English Novelists, English Screenwriters, English Short Story Writers, English Women Novelists, John Llewellyn Rhys Prize Winners, Lambda Literary Award Winners, Lesbian Writers, Lgbt Novelists, Lgbt Writers from England, Living People, Magic Realism Writers, Officers of the Order of the British Empire, People from Accrington, Women Memoirists, Writers from Manchester
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson OBE
Winterson in Warsaw, Poland, 2005
Born (1959-08-27) 27 August 1959
Manchester, England
Occupation Writer, journalist, delicatessen owner
Nationality British
Period 1985–present
Genre Fiction, children's fiction, journalism, science fiction
Notable works Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
Partner Peggy Reynolds (1990-2002), Susie Orbach
from the BBC programme Bookclub, 4 April 2010.[1]


Jeanette Winterson, OBE (born 27 August 1959) is an award-winning English writer, who became famous with her first book, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, a semi-autobiographical novel about a sensitive teenage girl rebelling against conventional values. Some of her other novels have explored gender polarities and sexual identity. Winterson is also a broadcaster and a professor of creative writing.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Awards and recognition 3
  • Personal life 4
  • Bibliography 5
    • Interviews 5.1
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Winterson was born in Manchester and adopted by Constance and John William Winterson on 21 January 1960.[2] She grew up in Accrington, Lancashire, and was raised in the Elim Pentecostal Church. Intending to become a Pentecostal Christian missionary, she began evangelising and writing sermons at age six.[3][4]

By the age of 16 Winterson had identified herself as a lesbian and left home.[5] She soon after attended Accrington and Rossendale College, and supported herself at a variety of odd jobs while reading English at St Catherine's College, Oxford.[6][7]


After she moved to London, her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, won the 1985 Whitbread Prize for a First Novel, and was adapted for television by Winterson in 1990. This in turn won the BAFTA Award for Best Drama. She won the 1987 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for The Passion, a novel 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

  • Jeanette Winterson official website
  • Jeanette Winterson author page by Guardian Unlimited
  • podcast interview (2007)Guardian
  • interview (2005)Rain Taxi
  • interview (2000)Guardian
  • An extended autobiographical article in The Guardian, Friday 28 October 2011: Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  • 2012 radio interview (30 minutes) at The Bat Segundo Show
  • Jeanette Winterson at the Internet Movie Database

External links

  1. ^ "Jeanette Winterson".  
  2. ^ "Jeanette Winterson: all about my mother". The Guardian (London). 29 October 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Brooks, Libby (2 September 2000). "Power surge". The Guardian (London). 
  4. ^ International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies, Volume 6, Number 4. SpringerLink. Retrieved on 26 August 2011.
  5. ^ a b Patricia Juliana Smith (24 July 2006). "Winterson, Jeanette (b. 1959)". glbtq Encyclopedia. Retrieved 4 December 2008. 
  6. ^ Winterson profile
  7. ^ "Amazon sorry for book sales error which hit Accrington author" 14 April 2009Lancashire Telegraph
  8. ^ Kate Kellaway (25 June 2006). "If I Was a Dog, I'd Be a Terrier". The Observer (London). Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  9. ^ Ox-Tales. Oxfam. Retrieved on 26 August 2011.
  10. ^ The Sixty Six Project. Bush Theatre. Retrieved on 26 August 2011.
  11. ^ Guardian "Sixty-Six Books – review" 16 October 2011
  12. ^ "The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson – review".  
  13. ^ "Winterson becomes Manchester Professor". The University of Manchester. 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  14. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 57855. p. 13. 31 December 2005. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
  15. ^ "25th annual Lambda Literary Award winners announced". LGBT Weekly, June 4, 2013.
  16. ^ "Harcourt Publishers Interview with Jeanette Winterson, Lighthousekeeping"
  17. ^ Gadher, Dipesh (26 October 2008). "Lesbian novelist Jeanette Winterson planned last visit to dying ex-lover". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  18. ^  
  19. ^ Stuart Jeffries (22 February 2010). "'"Jeanette Winterson: 'I thought of suicide. The Guardian (London). Retrieved 15 August 2011. 


  • Tetrick, Andrea (Mar–Apr 2013). "Jeanette Winterson".  



Since coming out as a lesbian at the age of 16,[5] Winterson has had a number of significant relationships. Her 1987 novel The Passion was inspired by her affair with Pat Kavanagh, her literary agent.[17] From 1990 to 2002, Winterson was involved with BBC radio broadcaster and academic Peggy Reynolds.[18] Since their relationship ended, Winterson has been involved with theatre director Deborah Warner and therapist Susie Orbach whom she married in 2015.[19]

Personal life

She is a two-time winner of the Lambda Literary Awards. Written on the Body won in the category of Lesbian Fiction in 1994, and Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? won in the category of Lesbian Memoir or Biography in 2013.[15] Additionally, Winterson's book Sexing the Cherry won the 1989 E. M. Forster Award.[16]

Winterson was made an officer of Order of the British Empire (OBE) at the 2006 New Year Honours "For services to literature".[14]

Awards and recognition

In 2012, she succeeded Colm Tóibín as professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester.[13]

"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" [12]

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

In 2009, she donated the short story Dog Days to Oxfam's Ox-Tales project comprising four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors. Winterson's story was published in the Fire collection.[9] 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.[10][11]


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