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Monday, March 20, 2017

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


Book Review
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1985)
 by Jeanette Winterson

  "Flannery O'Connor if she was a Evangelical Pentecostal from the English Midlands;" is as apt a description as I can imagine for Jeanette Winterson's lesbian coming-of-age novel.  The comparison doesn't track all the way to the station: O'Connor didn't write about herself, and Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is about as thinly veiled fiction as I can imagine,  Winterson was actually raised by Evangelical Pentecostal's in the English Midlands (she was adopted.)

  Her coming of age novel has a mix of familiar LGBTQ tropes (now, not in 1985) and outre behavior from Winterson's adoptive Mother, a highly religious woman equally devoted to judging others and her adoptive daughter.  Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit eschews explicit sex, and doesn't contain anything beyond explicit descriptions of hell-fire to trouble sensitive souls.

  Alas, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit was a victim of the initial 2008 revision of the 1001 Books list, making Winterson not just a one hit wonder, but also a one and done, for the purposes of the 1001 Books project.

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