[Download] ➺ Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit By Jeanette Winterson – Dolove.info
THIS IS A NUMBERS GAMEAccording to my Goodreads shelf, I have read 490 novels If Joyce Carol Oates, Marcel Proust and William Gass have anything to do with it, I ll never make 500 But I want to see that magic number 500 there I want to be able to say I have read 500 novels, hear me roar So, I m eating up SHORT novels like a madman right now, never mind the quality, feel the pages 300 Too long 250 Still too long Oranges is short and sweet really, short and bittersweet It was drop dead fabulous from page one Here is how to write a an autobiographical novel b an autobiographical comic novel c an autobiographical lesbian comic novel d an autobiographical lesbian religious comic novel Here is rueful sweet natured working class English life without the usual accompanying hauteur you get from writers like Zadie Smith and bloody Martin Amis THERE S ALWAYS A BUTThere are two types of writing here, the flat, banal account of JW s life, which I loved, and the experimental bits , which I hated E.g on p155 On the banks of the Euphrates find a secret garden cunningly walled There is an entrance, but the entrance is guarded There is no way in for you Inside you will find every plant5 that grows growing circularwise like a target Close to the heart is a sundial and at the heart is an orange tree.And blah blah blah All a bit portentously groanworthy But I think JW thought these were actually the best bits, because her writing took off in that direction The Passion Sexing the Cherry so that puts me in the same situation as people who only like The Clash s first album LET IT BE ORANGES NAKEDPaul McCartney, scandalized at the overdubbings Phil Spector sloshed over the Beatles Let It Be album, issued his own de overdubbed version Let It Be Naked in 2003 In 2011 JW issued her de overdubbed version of Oranges called Why be Happy when you Could be NormalSo that will be interesting I CONTAIN MULTITUDESI only just issued a pronouncement that no one under 30 could write a good novel except Emily Bronte JW was 24 when she wrote Oranges. But cough cough, this is a memoir, really The rule still stands Although wait, that means it can t be counted in my 500 novels Hmmm okay, if JW says it s a novel, it s a novel Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is a compelling novel about a young woman dealing with the pressures of conformity in a world that demands she be something she is not Jeanette is gay The world she has known, the world of the church, shuns such behaviour She was raised to be a missionary by her extremely controlling and zealous mother Her path was laid out before her And Jeanette was relatively obedient to begin with She was ready to accept this life of servitude to God She didn t know any different it s the only path she believed was open to her She didn t look outside it But life isn t as simple as that One day she meets someone who alteres everything She falls in love She sees an alternative, and she runs away So this is a story about new beginnings this is a story that shows us that we can break through the bonds of expectancy and be whomever it is we wish to be We don t have to sit back and choke on the moral expectancies and norms of a society that controls our faculties No We can follow our hearts, and we can do what we know is right This becomes a tale of self realisation, one that s structure reflects the narrative progress of the Bible It begins with Genesis and Winterson chooses to end it with Ruth, the story that recognises female achievement and is read by modern critics as a celebration of lesbianism Jeanette tries to find her own way in life through sexual experimentation and religious rebellion And by the end, the full autobiographical impact of this is revealedEveryone thinks their own situation most tragic I am no exception This was certainly a daring first novel, though, that being said, I ve never really had any inclination to read anything else by this author I read this back in 2015 I did enjoy this, and it is a very good tale, but much of the merit is on the surface level of the writing It s very straight forward and clean cut I would have liked to see a little bitdepth in the language, and a few less puns on the title Sometimes we don t need to explicitly say something for the narrative to carry the meaning Overall, it s a quirky little book, full of passion and self revelation But, for me, it was missing something I couldn t quite put my finger on Perhaps the book neededtime to grow and develop, perhaps the story needed to be carried a little further It s unusual for a first book, most authors, if they attempted something like this, it would be after they d already released a few novels and were relatively established But, again, that doesn t mean we should always follow the rules I was certain on giving this four stars before I started writing but, by the time I came to the end of this review, it s ended up as a three. Alternate Cover Edition For This Is The Story Of Jeanette, Adopted And Brought Up By Her Mother As One Of God S Elect Zealous And Passionate, She Seems Seems Destined For Life As A Missionary, But Then She Falls For One Of Her ConvertsAt Sixteen, Jeanette Decides To Leave The Church, Her Home And Her Family, For The Young Woman She Loves Innovative, Punchy And Tender, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit Is A Few Days Ride Into The Bizarre Outposts Of Religious Excess And Human Obsession An unassuming coming of age tale about love, religion, and repression, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit conducts a moving psychological study of a young British lesbian Across the novel s eight chapters, Winterson follows a fictionalized version of herself, Jeanette, as she grows up in a strict, working class Protestant household in plain but incisive prose, the author considers the teen girl s struggle to reconcile her sexuality with her faith, charts the highs and lows of her first romances with women, and paints a vivid portrait of an unaccepting, conservative mother Embedded within the main plot are hypnotic fairytales and Arthurian legends that illustrate key themes, from the emotional toll of patriarchy to the impossibility of returning home unchanged The first person novel has often been read as thinly veiled memoir, shocking in its time and tame today, but Oranges is really rather experimental and literary, in that Winterson glosses over central events, hops around in time, and muses on the nature of storytelling Well worth checking out. A delicious fruit bowl.Funny, clever, poetic, quirky, creative well written bittersweet story Jeannette s innocence was so realher heart pure A terrific inspiring small book Amazing how humor and witty charm can transform sensitive situations Thanks Cecily Thinly veiled memoir of the author s youth growing up with a religous nutter of a mother and a father whose character was subsumed entirely by his monster of a wife s.I don t know why some girls become lesbians, presumably most are just made that way, but I do think some become that way through choice In the book its almost as if there was one thing calculated to offend the mother and the entire community of zealots as a mortal sin, but not offend anyone else in the world, the only possible rebellion for a girl who wasn t at all rebellious by nature I derive this theory from the fact that I was all sex n drugs n rock n roll in my youth and beyond and my son is Mozart, chess and judo He s rebelling, and for a not rebellious kid, he s really found the truly acceptable way to get at me all that opera played at full volume but not the world Whether it was true or a literary device doesn t matter, the book was hugely entertaining and a damn good read. When I was a child, I had found a pair of gloves in the middle of the street in my cul de sac They were black and worn with a little embroidered heart at each wrist I slipped them on and flexed my fingers, amazed at how nicely they fit I took them home and put them in my sock drawer, only taking them out on Thursdays for my bike ride down the street to piano lessons.This book is exactly like those gloves I found this book while on a field trip for pre college English class, crammed in backward on a shelf between two books by Anais Nin The title made me smile, so I turned to the first page and read the introduction It is safe to say that Jeanette Winterson s writing wormed its way into my heart rather fast Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is a great, great read Winterson beautifully mixes religious theology with budding sexuality, curiosity and identity It was nice to watch Jeanette the main character grow along with the conflict of accepting her demon In a lot of ways it reminds me of the documentaryFor The Bible Tells Me So . A quirky and warm hearted tale of a girl, Jeanette, growing up in an evangelical household in England with a goal for her to become a missionary She is well behaved, a true believer comfortable with this goal She feels love from her mother, with a lively relationship often lifted with humor and a sense of virtue from righteous community minded spirit Anyone who strays from the path of virtue can find forgiveness for succumbing to temptations of the Devil Her mother works as an administrative assistant for their church s missionary society and pitches in directly for outreach efforts to convert unbelievers around England and for organizational support of revival meetings She just knows Jeanette is destined for great things We stood on the hill and my mother said, The world is full of sin We stood on the hill and my mother said, You can change the world Jeanette doesn t have much to say about her father, but her mother is a rock for her, fighting the good fight 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 the trees when the appropriate destruction didn t materialize Quite often it did, her will or the Lord s I couldn t say.Jeanette is home schooled for a long time When her hunger for knowledge gets big, she enters the local rural school system and gets a rude awakening Her religious obsession gets her tagged as odd Parents complain when their kids get nightmares from Jeanette s tales about the horrors of demons and fate of the damned She can t understand why the religious themes in her art work, like an embroidery project with the words The Summer is ended and we are not yet saved , make her a target for ridicule But she is tough and resilient and soon her broad readings are giving her plenty of fuel to adapt and philosophically argue circles around anyone who marshals ideas against her Her downfall begins with perplexity about her dreams of marriage in which the bridegroom turns out to be an animal or an empty suit of clothes At a Bible camp, she befriends a girl named Melanie At a sleepover, her affections for her take a surprising turn We read the Bible as usual, and then told each other how glad we were that the Lord had brought us together She stroked my head for a long time, and then we hugged and it felt like drowning Then I was frightened and couldn t stop There was something crawling in my belly I had an octopus inside of me.As her sin becomes apparent, her mother and the pastor do their best to pray her and shame her out of her sinful trajectory Rather than getting emotionally destroyed, this girl raised to certitude and trust in her own goodness boldly breaks away She begins to think her way forward by making up stories, fables, and parables to account for alternative views of reality She comes to see stories as a core of truth and not to be distinguished as an alternative to historical fact 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 they everyone sees it differently Some people say there are true things to be found, some people say all kinds of things can be proved I don t believe them The only thing that is certain is how complicated it all is, like string full of knots Some people like to separate storytelling which is not fact from history which is fact They do this so they know what to believe and what not to believe Knowing what to believe had its advantages It built an empire and kept people where they belong, in the bright realm of the wallet.Will she find a way back to her mother s heart Will she find a way back to Melanie s love How much of this is Winterson s own history and the love of storytelling by Jeanette in the book a window on the author s own path to becoming a writer Reading this first novel was a rewarding complement to the three others I ve enjoying She has a fresh, playful voice, avoids melodramatics, and likes to infuse mythological and philosophical elements into her stories. I tried to write this review eight minutes before I was supposed to go to work I did not meet the deadline I only mention this so I can make sure you know what quality shit you re getting when you shop here My reviews occasionally take longer than eight minutes to compose.Though much, much better than my miserable first experience with Winterson, I am still unsure about her after reading this, still plagued by minor annoyances As with that other one, this book is riddled with what it seems to think are profound insights delivered in this showy I ll give you a minute to simmer on that way, an almost uncomfortable way, like someone telling you a bad joke and then staring at you all silently and expectantly That feeling in the ensuing awkward silence The state of me about 85% of the time while reading this Interspersed with these profoundies are little whimsy cutes that are I suppose intended to offset the serious tone, like this novel is letting you know just how unserious it takes its very serious self, all seriousness aside It makes for a weird time And it is serious material The coming of age of a lesbian and aspiring preacher in a devout household, rejected by her church and her adoptive mother for her unnatural passions It sounds like something I would love, because I adore the shredding of religious hypocrisy, and am fascinated by people raised in such a crazy environment since it is so far removed from my own experience, having been brought up by a religious skeptic and generally sane woman Unfortunately, the tone is such an awkwardly comical one that it feels almost removed, and the character of Jeanette often reads silly Like if you took the film version of Carrie because there is one, only one , took out the violence, and replaced it with some America s Funniest Home Videos music It wasn t really my brand of comedy, I guess, but then again you should keep in mind you re dealing with someone who is roughly one pun away from being somebody s grandpa Unless you correctly think dick jokes are hilarious, you might not take my word when it comes to comedy.At the same time, we have these little asides where Percival s quest for the grail is told, drawing some comparison where I guess Jeanette is Percival and the grail is, umm, her sexuality or something Her relationship with god I wasn t following there, but I admit that bringing myths and the like into your story does make them seem magical and weighty and stuff.Gripes aside, I was still invested in the story, and I respect what it intended to do I liked the character of the mother, the exploration of tight knit church communities, and all the scenes where Jeanette is an outcast in school for telling bible stories about hellfire and damnation while totally convinced that she s doing a whole heap of good, and not understanding why people are such dicks to her about it Mean spirited as I often am about extreme religious beliefs, I was surprised to find myself happy that Jeanette, unlike her family and congregation, was able to reconcile her beliefs and her bodily needs so early in life, because it s good when people are happy, even if I feel I could make a pretty decent argument that they re crazy It s good for people to embrace their various sexualities rather than live miserable lives built on lies and acting and self hatred If I believed in a god, I sure wouldn t worship her him if I thought s he was a bigot That would just be ridiculous, right Every once in a while, this novel is moving Sometimes, it actually is funny I m going to give Winterson onebook to either kick my ass, or earn her third and final strike I m just California like that. I seriously had no idea that this year I would read 2 lesbian books 4 gay ones The Line of Beauty, The Mad Man, On the Road of course, let us never forget The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn It s an obscure genre, if you ask me Tipping the Velvet was disappointingly bland, although racy in parts and historically accurate, but it still felt a tad conventional This, Winterson s first uber acclaimed novella, is philosophical and entertaining and funny, part autobiography and part soaring flight of fancy It s an unpredictable telling of that age old story of the eversad girl meets girl dilemma As an outsider in her rather comically tightly knit religious community, Jeanette interweaves fable like metaphors to better understand her mother s absolute rejection of her sexual orientation But instead of deserting God, it s both interesting empowering to see how she manages to strengthen her personal relationship with him.