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Mrs Winterson’s Daughter

Adam Mars-Jones: Jeanette Winterson

26 January 2012
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? 
by Jeanette Winterson.
Cape, 230 pp., £14.99, October 2011, 978 0 224 09345 3
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... I was friendly with JeanetteWinterson in the 1980s – we even went away for a weekend together. I went slightly cool on the friendship, though she didn’t exactly do anything wrong. We ran into each other occasionally after the ...
7 July 1994
Art & Lies 
by Jeanette Winterson.
Cape, 224 pp., £14.99, June 1994, 0 224 03145 7
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... Each new book by JeanetteWinterson is said to be poorer than its predecessor; she is like a bibliographer’s definition of nostalgia. As her novels become more ghostly, so they give off a stronger vapour of self-promotion. Her last ...

A Tulip and Two Bulbs

Jenny Turner: Jeanette Winterson

7 September 2000
The PowerBook 
by Jeanette Winterson.
Cape, 243 pp., £14.99, September 2000, 0 224 06103 8
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... of psychology that human beings, beyond a certain age, find it difficult to supplement their personalities with new emotional understandings. If this happens to the writer, she is lost.’ JeanetteWinterson, ‘A Work of My Own’,Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery (1995) From the outside, JeanetteWinterson’s new book looks quite different from what she usually does. Instead of one of ...


Blake Morrison

21 February 1991
The Chatto Book of Love Poetry 
edited by John Fuller.
Chatto, 374 pp., £13.99, August 1990, 0 7011 3453 4
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The Faber Book of Blue Verse 
edited by John Whitworth.
Faber, 305 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 571 14095 5
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Self-Portrait with a Slide 
by Hugo Williams.
Oxford, 62 pp., £5.95, June 1990, 0 19 282744 8
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The Virago Book of Love Poetry 
edited by Wendy Mulford.
Virago, 288 pp., £6.99, November 1990, 1 85381 030 4
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Erotica: An Anthology of Women’s Writing 
edited by Margaret Reynolds, foreword by Jeanette Winterson .
Pandora, 362 pp., £19.99, November 1990, 9780044406723
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Daddy, Daddy 
by Paul Durcan.
Blackstaff, 185 pp., £5.95, August 1990, 0 85640 446 2
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... Mulford argues, by not exploiting the love object or muse: instead of veneration they express cussedness and bad temper, and cut their men down to human size. Women’s erotica differs from men’s, JeanetteWinterson argues, by seeking ‘to return women to their bodies by offering a looking-glass and not a distorting mirror’; men ‘picture the whole world as a giant reflection of their prick ...

Tang of Blood

Christian Lorentzen: Something to Do with Capitalism

4 June 2014
... as literal’, and criticises her for diminishing Eleanor’s previous suicide attempt and other tensions within the Marx family. But she has kind words for Holmes’s ‘ebullient prose’. JeanetteWinterson calls the book ‘brilliant’ in the Telegraph; Rosemary Ashton in the Literary Review points up its ‘brio’; Lisa Jardine in the Financial Times says Holmes’s ‘fresh and vital ...

Snooked Duck Tail

Lucy Daniel: Jeannette Winterson

3 June 2004
by Jeanette Winterson.
Fourth Estate, 232 pp., £15, May 2004, 0 00 718151 5
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... After stealing a talking parrot on the island of Capri, JeanetteWinterson’s latest narrator is referred to the Tavistock Clinic, where she explains that she was trying to capture some sort of meaning. The therapist innocently suggests she write a story, ‘with a ...
14 September 1989
Lewis Percy 
by Anita Brookner.
Cape, 261 pp., £11.95, August 1989, 0 224 02668 2
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Sexing the cherry 
by Jeanette Winterson.
Bloomsbury, 167 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 0 7475 0464 4
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by Hilary Mantel.
Viking, 186 pp., £11.95, September 1989, 0 670 82118 7
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... becoming a hero fitted to seek his fortune in a new world. For all her level-headed eschewal of illusion, Anita Brookner has not given up the notion that we might manage to live happily ever after. JeanetteWinterson’s relations with fantasy are less wary than anything to be found in Brookner’s temperate reflections. Founded on the political creeds of ecology and feminism, Sexing the cherry fuses ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: 10,860 novels

23 August 2001
... from Matt Thorne and someone unnamed at Granta, but Moss himself is strangely silent on the subject of Scottish fiction; James Kelman’s name, for example, doesn’t come up. And what about women? JeanetteWinterson, not exactly unfamous, isn’t featured; nor is Hilary Mantel; though Zadie Smith inevitably is. Most published works of fiction are not particularly good, as has surely always been the ...
22 September 1994
The Apparitional Lesbian: Female Homosexuality and Modern Culture 
by Terry Castle.
Columbia, 322 pp., £20, January 1994, 0 231 07652 5
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... department.’ Rediscovering such kitsch delights, one aspires to ‘point and savoir faire’ – or at least the version of those qualities represented by (say) a Violet Trefusis or a JeanetteWinterson, two Castle favourites. Common sense only gets you so far. It’s not always such fun playing along, however. The title-essay is more sentimental than pointed, and the ghostly presences she detects ...
24 September 1992
Doctor Criminale 
by Malcolm Bradbury.
Secker, 343 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 436 20115 1
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The Promise of Light 
by Paul Watkins.
Faber, 217 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 571 16715 2
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The Absolution Game 
by Paul Sayer.
Constable, 204 pp., £13.99, June 1992, 0 09 471460 6
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The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman 
by Louis de Bernières.
Secker, 388 pp., £14.99, August 1992, 0 436 20114 3
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Written on the Body 
by Jeanette Winterson.
Cape, 190 pp., £13.99, September 1992, 0 224 03587 8
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... fact that he/she apparently sits down to urinate, and late in the novel is described as wearing a lime-green body stocking and a coronet of artificial crocuses, strongly suggests womanhood. So does Winterson’s general avoidance of male characters. Whoever or whatever she is, she concedes nothing to conventional femininity. In one of her lighter moments she brags about former conquests with a bravado ...

Tongue breaks

Emily Wilson: Sappho

8 January 2004
If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho 
by Anne Carson.
Virago, 397 pp., £12.99, November 2003, 1 84408 081 1
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The Sappho History 
by Margaret Reynolds.
Palgrave, 311 pp., £19.99, May 2003, 0 333 97170 1
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Sappho's Leap 
by Erica Jong.
Norton, 320 pp., $24.95, May 2003, 0 393 05761 5
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... counterpart to everything that is wrong with real women’s lives. The speaker and her beloved could meet on Lesbos, ‘in another life’, but ‘Meanwhile there’s a stink of fat and baby crap.’ JeanetteWinterson’s response to Sappho is even angrier. In Art and Lies, her Sappho cries in outraged capital letters: ‘WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY POEMS?’ In fact, the proportion of lost work is no ...

Only the Drop

Gabriele Annan

17 October 1996
Every Man for Himself 
by Beryl Bainbridge.
Duckworth, 224 pp., £14.99, September 1996, 0 7156 2733 3
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... soaked in the social atmosphere of wherever it may be: the North of England, Camden Town, Kilburn. These places are frequented by other contemporary novelists like Margaret Forster, Hilary Mantel and JeanetteWinterson; two of them black humorists like Bainbridge, but none quite as funny, and certainly not as unexpected and disturbing. She is a cross between a witch and a clown. Clowns unleash chaos, and ...
16 December 1993
The Modern Language Association of America: Program for the 109th Convention, Vol. 108, No. 6 
November 1993Show More
The Modern Language Association: Job Information List 
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... the Increments and Excrements of “Influence” in Dorian Gray and Edward II’ (this, incidentally, is what passes for Wildean wit at the MLA); ‘Teledildonics: Virtual Lesbians in the Fiction of JeanetteWinterson’; or the terser, but sublimely opaque ‘Autophagy and the Logic of the Absolute Fragment’. These titles will have been solemnly approved by an MLA committee. The same committee has ...

The Absolute End

Theo Tait: Ali Smith

26 January 2012
There but for the 
by Ali Smith.
Hamish Hamilton, 356 pp., £16.99, June 2011, 978 0 241 14340 7
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... on the shortlist, and had reacted with fury when they were ignored. I felt especially sympathetic because one of the books whose absence was most complained of was Ali Smith’s There but for the. JeanetteWinterson said that Smith’s novel, about a dinner-party guest who hides in his hosts’ spare bedroom and refuses to come out, was a ‘wonderful, word-playful’ book left out because it didn’t ...

‘I worry a bit, Joanne’

Adam Mars-Jones: ‘The Casual Vacancy’

25 October 2012
The Casual Vacancy 
by J.K. Rowling.
Little, Brown, 503 pp., £20, September 2012, 978 1 4087 0420 2
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... chamber music, or a sculptor starts exhibiting drawings. It’s true that in fiction the direction of genre travel is usually the other way round, with established novelists such as Salman Rushdie or JeanetteWinterson trying their hand at work for a younger age group, but it’s hardly a binding rule. In other ways it seems perverse. What can top the experience of capturing a global audience, made up ...

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