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

by Jeanette Winterson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,1321161,322 (3.77)1 / 454
  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. 20
    A Clergyman's Daughter by George Orwell (Whig)
    Whig: For similar treatment of lost faith by a young girl.
  3. 10
    Keep The Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell (bertilak)
  4. 00
    The End of Eddy by Édouard Louis (librorumamans)
    librorumamans: Also autobiographical fiction about growing up gay in a hostile, lower-class environment.
  5. 01
    My Fundamentalist Education: A Memoir of a Divine Girlhood by Christine Rosen (bertilak)
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English (113)  Swedish (2)  French (1)  All languages (116)
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
"I love her."
"Then you do not love the Lord."
"Yes, I love both of them."
"You cannot."
"I do, I do, let me go."


Rating: 3.5 stars maybe?

This was a tough read, both the topic and the execution. I loved the introduction written by the author 27 years after originally writing the book - I was surprised to learn that this wasn't a memoir, but a novel that is loosely based on the life of the author. Oh, and it has random fairytale and legend segments sometimes, because why not. That was weird.

I knew from the blurb that this book would portray the main character's religious upbringing and childhood, but I sort of figured that the childhood and university parts would be equal, which wasn't true. This whole novel takes place at home, Jeanette only moves away towards the end, and even then most of the scenes are about her visiting home.

I admit that the writing style really didn't work for me sometimes, it went on such tangents that I had no idea what was going on. Other times, I enjoyed the dialogue and the narration, but mostly I was confused. ( )
  runtimeregan | Jun 12, 2019 |
Read this a long time ago for a womens lit class and loved it, so I thought I'd boost it's star power here. I should re-read it sometime. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
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.
  JRCornell | Dec 8, 2018 |
A short little book that packs some powerful stuff. From what I've read, it's a novel that's somewhat autobiographical. Jeanette is coming of age in an extremely evangelical household and realizing that she's a lesbian. Lots of hard to read passages that are cut beautifully with humor. I enjoyed the way fairy tales were woven in as well. Fantastic writing. ( )
  sprainedbrain | Dec 1, 2018 |
I loved this book. At times it is sad, at rimes it is funny. The overly present religious fanatism isn't appalling, but it just ads to the depth of the book, the feel that it left me with.

I know there are families like this, I'm happy that I didn't grow up in one.

A book with a strange title, that did start to make sense when reading the book :-) ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Nov 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (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 (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Winterson, Jeanetteprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lammers, GeertjeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leigh, DennisCover artistsecondary 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.)
(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)

» see all 4 descriptions

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