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The World and Other Places
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'An awesome panorama...compelling and wild...an original and thrilling writer' Independent

About the Author

Jeanette Winterson OBE was born in Manchester. Adopted by Pentecostal parents she was raised to be a missionary. This did and didn't work out. Discovering early the power of books she left home at 16 to live in a Mini and get on with her education. After graduating from Oxford University she worked for a while in the theatre and published her first novel at 25. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is based on her own upbringing but using herself as a fictional character. She scripted the novel into a BAFTA-winning BBC drama. 27 years later she re-visited that material in the bestselling memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? She has written 10 novels for adults, as well as children's books, non-fiction and screenplays. She writes regularly for the Guardian. She lives in the Cotswolds in a wood and in Spitalfields, London. She believes that art is for everyone and it is her mission to prove it.

Reviews

This work collects stories written over a 13-year period by Whitbread and E.M. Forster Award winner Winterson. A hallmark of her fiction is the avoidance of gender pronouns, resulting in a gender fluidity that permits a subversive reading of the seemingly conventional love story "O'Brien's First Christmas." "Orion" is a feminist retelling of the origin of the constellation; as expected, a tale of female victimization becomes one of revenge and empowerment. "The Poetics of Sex" is a graphic tale of passion between two women interspersed with condescending questions typically asked of lesbians. Winterson's afterword is instructive; part of the pleasure of reading the title story is imagining the bafflement of the editors of an American Express travel magazine, who, offended by her irony, refused to publish it. The stories are challenging and beautifully crafted, ranging from realistic to fantastical. Recommended for most collections.‘Ina Rimpau, Newark P.L., NJ

The detached awareness of Winterson's characters, with their biblically informed psyches and receptivity to the paranormal, make the 17 stories of this collection more proverbial than narrative. When in her acknowledgments Winterson (Gut Symmetries) thanks those who have "bought or bludgeoned" them from her, she's quite right: there's nothing fulsome here. Her spare gestures reduce prose to an eerie elemental state. In "The 24-Hour Dog," the narrator's encounter with a two-month-old puppy purchased from a farmer transports her: "The Sistine Chapel is unpainted, no book has been written. There is the moon, the water, the night, one creature's need and another's response. The moment between chaos and shape and I say his name and he hears me." In other stories, such as "O'Brien's First Christmas," the alien intrudes in the form of a midnight visitation by a tutued fairy on a downcast shopgirl. The feminist allegory "Orion" recasts the myth of Artemis and her predatory paramour; "Disappearance I" imagines a futuristic dystopia in which sleep has become as taboo as red light sex. Though the aftertaste of this unflinchingly provocative and stringently witty collection is somewhat bitter, Winterson's stories reveal another facet of a writer much acclaimed for her virtuosity and complexity. (Mar.)

A greatly gifted and original writer...there is an exhilarating freshness and energy to this collection * Observer *
This first book of short stories will delight her fans with their daring. Whether in a world where sleep is illegal or on an island of diamonds where the rich wear coal jewellery, Winterson is the mistress of the short story -- Jessica de Rothschild * Tatler *
The quality of her writing has remained constant: precise, fluent, perfectly judged. This collection is another refinement of that art, studded with metaphors and unexpected asides * Independent on Sunday *
The short story form was made for Jeanette Winterson...mesmerising prose poems * The Times *
Her stories transport us into the dizzyingly fertile mind of one of Britain's most prodigiously gifted authors...breathtaking * Scotland on Sunday *

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