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Sexing the Cherry: A Novel by Jeanette…
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Sexing the Cherry: A Novel (original 1989; edition 1990)

by Jeanette Winterson

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2,342342,684 (3.73)133
Member:angstophile
Title:Sexing the Cherry: A Novel
Authors:Jeanette Winterson
Info:Atlantic Monthly Pr (1990), Edition: 1st Atlantic Monthly Press ed, Hardcover, 167 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:read, fiction, English author, 1001, 2013, atc

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Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson (1989)

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» See also 133 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
This book is a hard one for me to rate and review. There were parts of the book that I thought were very well done both in writing and in cleverness. But maybe because I'm writing this review and it's been a month since I finished the book, I just have a vague impression of it being enjoyable but not earth shattering. ( )
  jmoncton | Jul 7, 2014 |
What a let-down when something you'd been meaning to read for well over 20 years just isn't that great. (It's the kind of title that really jumps out from a newspaper page when you're a kid.) The narrative was so fragmented that the atmosphere - surely one of the most important facets of historical fiction or fantasy, even postmodern versions - never became truly absorbing, and you're booted out yet again just as it looked like it was going to. If I'd seen one or two of the individual chapterlets as short stories somewhere, I'd have liked them more than I did finding them in this jumble. Being an unfashionable two-wrongs-don't-make-a-right sort of feminist, I really disliked the anti-male sentiment in the Twelve Dancing Princesses fables. In any case, more dullness than disaster strikes me as a good antidote to fairytale happy-ever afters, and Perrault wrote Bluebeard* too. (In Written on the Body, by contrast, the bits about anti-man terrorism were written in such a perfect high-comic fashion that they were great regardless.) The male characters were, probably deliberately, either insipid or tyrannical (which I concede is kind of an interesting role-reversal of old tropes [minus sexy stereotypes] - but ones more common in poorer-quality literature. Ultimately it meant that there was a shortage of interesting people in the book.) The Dog-Woman, the anti-Puritan giantess and force of nature, was almost great - and occasionally funny - but as with pretty much everything about this book, her impact was much lessened by the bitty chapters, and the story skipping around too much for such a short work.

* I googled Bluebeard to check who the compiler / author was - but first a typo led me to adorable British Blue cats (aka blue bears). Look. ( )
  antonomasia | Jun 3, 2014 |
The first words that cone to mind after reading this book are strange and weird. I have struggled reading this book, I couldn't really follow what it was all about. And even after I stopped trying to understand, it did not really get any easier.
Too much strangeness in such a small book I guess.

Maybe I'll try a translation, if there is one, to get the t's crossed and the i's dotted. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | May 29, 2014 |
This was an interesting, imaginative book that takes place in England at the time of the English Civil War, & centers around Jordan & his mother, who is nameless except for being called the Dog Woman. He was found by the river, & that's what she names him for, the River Jordan. Jordan has flights of fancy that take him to different places, as he travels with John Tradescant, the King's Gardener, around the world in search of rare & exotic plants. The point of view switches back & forth between Jordan, his adventures, the tales he spins, & his mother's more down to earth adventures of murder & mayhem in London. Somewhere along the line, the linear time seems to blur, & time has no meaning.

At only 167 pages, I finished in well under 24 hours, making it a fast, easy, fun read :) ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 11, 2014 |
Rating: 4 of 5

The act of reading Sexing the Cherry was itself a journey. Filled with allusions, metaphors and imagery, it was a heavy read, not for those who find such prose pretentious or unsatisfying. Usually I blow through 167 pages in a couple hours; this one took me four days to complete. So much was packed into a single sentence, I often found myself re-reading to examine, digest and/or journal. And, when I finished the story, there were dozens of my little post-its sticking out, marking passages that lit a fire in my thinker's boiler.

If enjoyed the first time, re-reading Sexing the Cherry will likely present new meaning(s) for its reader. If I were to read it again in say, a year, five years, a decade I'm sure different passages, ideas, images would grab hold. The exploration of time and reality most resonated during this, my first, read.

However, I wouldn't feel comfortable recommending this book to the casual reader because I think it'll be a love it or hate it type of experience for most people. Plus, where (or when) that reader is in their life, would also affect their reaction to the story. ( )
  flying_monkeys | Feb 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
''Sexing the Cherry'' fuses history, fairy tale and metafiction into a fruit that's rather crisp, not terribly sweet, but of a memorably startling flavor.
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeanette Wintersonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lammers, GeertjeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The Hopi, an Indian tribe, have a language as sophisticated as ours, but no tenses for past present and future. The division does not exist. What does this say about time?

Matter, that thing the most solid and the well-known, which you are holding in your hands and which makes up your body, is now known to be mostly empty space. Empty space and points of light. What does this say about the reality of the world?
Dedication
For Melanie Adams

My thanks are due to Don and Ruth Rendell, whose hospitality gave me the space to work. To all at Bloomsbury, especially Liz Calder and Caroline Michel. And to Pat Kavanagh for her continual support.
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My name is Jordan.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802135781, Paperback)

In a fantastic world that is and is not seventeenth-century England, a baby is found floating in the Thames. The child, Jordan, is rescued by Dog Woman and grows up to travel the world like Gulliver, though he finds that the world’s most curious oddities come from his own mind. Winterson leads the reader from discussions on the nature of time to Jordan’s fascination with journeys concealed within other journeys, all with a dizzying speed that shoots the reader from epiphany to shimmering epiphany.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:42 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

An imaginative tour de force exploring history, imagination and the nature of time.

(summary from another edition)

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