'Entrancing...fabulous... Its language retains the clear music of poetry' Sunday Telegraph
Jeanette Winterson OBE is the author of ten novels, including Oranges are not the Only Fruit, The Passion and Sexing the Cherry; a book of short stories, The World and Other Places; a collection of essays, Art Objects as well as many other works, including children's books, screenplays and journalism. Her writing has won the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel, the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize, the E. M. Forster Award and the Prix d'argent at Cannes Film Festival.
Evoking modern physics and antique metaphysics, Winterson's ambitiously eccentric narrative challenges her readers to rupture the boundaries of conventional perceptions and linear experience of time. Her narrative voices, alternating between a Rabelaisian giantess and her foundling son, collapse at times into one another and the characters plunge vertiginously through time and space. On the one hand reworking fairy tales, and on the other evoking the filth, squalor and exuberant bawdiness of 17th-century England in the throes of civil war, Winterson ( The Passion ) eventually locates her characters in present-day London. Graced with striking similes and poetic cadences, the author's prose is clean and strong, and the disjunctive elements of her narrative are integrated elegantly. But the novel's freakish characters and flights of surreal fancy are insufficient to redeem its overwrought artifice. The work is further limited by its stridently dogmatic feminism, which, contemptuously belittling all men as arrogantly stupid bullies who are vastly women's inferiors in maturity and moral fiber, vitiates its ostensible intent to transcend the narrowness of human perception. (Apr.)
Bizarre images and bawdy laughter galvanize this splendid English farce about a prodigious giantess and her explorer son in 17th-century London. Jordan fetches the first pineapple to the court of Charles II, while his mother, The Dog Woman, wreaks vengeance upon Puritans in a brothel. The plague; the flying princesses who defy laws of the courts and gravity; Jordan's travels to the floating city and the botanical wonders of the New World--the tale nips easily in and out of history and fantasy. The two characters eventually merge into the grievously polluted life of modern London. Metaphors abound with polemics on environmental concerns and politics of past and present. Not for the Jackie Collins set: readers need a background in surrealism to follow this story.-- Maurice Taylor, Brunswick Cty. Lib., Southport, N.C.
"A book of innocence and bawdiness, fury and joy...needs to be read and re-read" The Times "Read it and marvel. Jeanette Winterson's voice is startlingly original, and her imaginative feats are utterly dazzling" Cosmopolitan "Simple prose shows the subtlest of minds behind it, swift, confident and dazzling" Financial Times "Winterson juggles past and present, fantasy and reality, to produce an original and entertaining novel which invites us to re-examine our own perceptions of time" Sunday Times "Her stories and characters levitate off the page into dancing life... A bold, bizarre and timely book" Independent