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Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (Bloomsbury…
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Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (Bloomsbury Classics) (original 1985; edition 1991)

by Jeanette Winterson

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4,6951021,010 (3.76)1 / 401
Member:gcoupe
Title:Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (Bloomsbury Classics)
Authors:Jeanette Winterson
Info:Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (1991), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:gay fiction

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Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson (1985)

  1. 70
    Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson (Anonymous user, Tinker_Books)
    Tinker_Books: Independent twin Novel to Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson.
  2. 10
    Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell (bertilak)
  3. 10
    A Clergyman's Daughter by George Orwell (WilliamQuill)
    WilliamQuill: For similar treatment of lost faith by a young girl.
  4. 01
    My Fundamentalist Education: A Memoir of a Divine Girlhood by Christine Rosen (bertilak)
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English (99)  Swedish (2)  French (1)  English (102)
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
I started this book in high school and never finished it. In the intro, Jeanette Winterson describes the novel as "experimental." I guess it was too experimental for me at the time, but on this read I really enjoyed it: the creative and darkly witty writing, the mix of standard first-person narration and fairytale stories, the quirky but believable characters.

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"My needlework teacher suffered from a problem of vision. She recognized things according to expectation and environment. If you were in a particular place, you expected to see particular things. Sheep and hills, seas and fish; if there was an elephant in the supermarket, she'd either not see it at all, or call it Mrs Jones and talk about fishcakes." (pp. 43-44)

(will add more later, because I forgot to mark passages I liked as I read, so it's hard to find them again) ( )
  csoki637 | Nov 27, 2016 |
This book resonated with me; there were many echoes of my childhood, and I identified strongly with the protagonist even though I think we are quite different people. It is beautifully written with a couple of particularly strong passages that I will remember for some time: the passage about God and love that is quoted in pretty much every review on GoodReads, but also an earlier section in which Winterson ponders parallel universes:

There's a chance that I'm not here at all, that all the parts of me, running along all the choices I did and didn't make, for a moment brush against each other. That I am still an evangelist in the North, as well as the person who ran away.

I do think some of the pastiches (of high fantasy, of stories about knights, etc.) weaken the story instead of commenting effectively on it, but other than that this is a wonderful novel. ( )
1 vote gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
Jeanette, usvojeno dijete, homoseksualnih sklonosti odrasta uz majku koja je religijski fanatik. ("If there's such a thing as spiritual adultery, my mother was a whore.")
Izuzetna knjiga. Mix mitova, legendi i realnosti. Prekrasan engleski. Tako mnogo predivnih rečenica o povijesti, ljubavnim vezama, životu, ljudima koji se ne uklapaju u ustaljene šeme.




. ( )
  Dinci | Aug 16, 2016 |
Jeanette, usvojeno dijete, homoseksualnih sklonosti odrasta uz majku koja je religijski fanatik. ("If there's such a thing as spiritual adultery, my mother was a whore.")
Izuzetna knjiga. Mix mitova, legendi i realnosti. Prekrasan engleski. Tako mnogo predivnih rečenica o povijesti, ljubavnim vezama, životu, ljudima koji se ne uklapaju u ustaljene šeme.




. ( )
  Dinci | Aug 16, 2016 |
A fantastic debut novel - highly autobiographical, but always interesting. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Jul 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
Narratively, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is built on a particular irony - a contradiction in which it takes some sly delight....The novel may be a story of self-liberation for a secular age, but it recalls a traditional sense that a person's story is made significant by reference to the Bible. Why should any individual's story matter, after all? Because it follows the pattern of God-given precept and God-directed narrative. All the early heroes and heroines of the English novel - Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Richardson's Pamela and Clarissa - make sense of their peculiar lives by reference to the Bible
 

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeanette Wintersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lammers, GeertjeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mattila, RaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'When thick rinds are used the top must be thoroughly skimmed, or a scum will form marring the final appearance.'
From
The Making of Marmalade by Mrs Beeton.
'Oranges are not the only fruit.'
-- Nell Gwynn
Dedication
For Gill Saunders and Fang the cat
TO PHILLIPPA BREWSTER WHO WAS THE BEGINNING
First words
Like most people I lived for a long time with my mother and father. My father liked to watch the wrestling, my mother liked to wrestle; it didn't matter what. She was in the white corner and that was that.
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit was written during the winter of 1983 and the spring of 1984. (Introduction)
Quotations
Everyone thinks their own situation most tragic. I am no exception.
Going back after a long time will make you mad, because the people you left behind do not like to think of you changed, will treat you as they always did, accuse you of being indifferent, when you are only different.
Of course that is not the whole story, but that is the way with stories; we make them what we will. It's a way of explaining the universe while leaving the universe unexplained, it's a way of keeping it all alive, not boxing it into time. Everyone who tells a story tells it differently, just to remind us that everybody sees it differently.
She was Old Testament through and through. Not for her the meek and paschal Lamb, she was out there, up front with the prophets, and much given to sulking under trees when the appropriate destruction didn't materialise. Quite often it did, her will or the Lord's I can't say.
I didn't know quite what fornicating was, but I had read about it in Deuteronomy, and I knew it was a sin. But why was it so noisy? Most sins you did quietly so as not to get caught.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802135161, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:50 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The coming-of-age story of Jess, the adopted daughter of a deeply religious woman, who grows up isolated and insulated in the north of England in the 1960's. Jess meets Melanie, and the two teenagers fall in love, greatly upsetting Jess's mother and her congregation.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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