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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author’s Whitbread Prize-winning debut - “Winterson has mastered both comedy and tragedy in this rich little novel” (The Washington Post Book World). 

When it first appeared, Jeanette Winterson’s extraordinary debut novel received unanimous international praise, including the prestigious Whitbread Prize for best first fiction. Winterson went on to fulfill that promise, producing some of the most dazzling fiction and nonfiction of the past decade, including her celebrated memoir Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?

Now required reading in contemporary literature, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a funny, poignant exploration of a young girl’s adolescence. 

Jeanette is a bright and rebellious orphan who is adopted into an evangelical household in the dour, industrial North of England and finds herself embroidering grim religious mottoes and shaking her little tambourine for Jesus. But as this budding missionary comes of age, and comes to terms with her unorthodox sexuality, the peculiar balance of her God-fearing household dissolves. Jeanette’s insistence on listening to truths of her own heart and mind - and on reporting them with wit and passion - makes for an unforgettable chronicle of an eccentric, moving passage into adulthood. 

“If Flannery O’Connor and Rita Mae Brown had collaborated on the coming-out story of a young British girl in the 1960s, maybe they would have approached the quirky and subtle hilarity of Jeanette Winterson’s autobiographical first novel.... Winterson’s voice, with its idiosyncratic wit and sensitivity, is one you’ve never heard before.” (Ms. magazine)

©1985 Jeanette Winterson (P)2019 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

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Not all of these audiobooks are centered around coming out, but they all lend themselves to self-reflection and to ultimately closing the chasm between the person as is and the person self-actualized, standing in their truth. If you are questioning your sexuality or place in the world, know that you are not, and never will be, alone. These listens will bring you solace, companionship along the way, and a newfound closeness to your most authentic self.

What listeners say about Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

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quirky and odd

Jeanette Winterson does something quite wonderful in her books, bringing into her art the stories of lesbian women. Some of the books are madcap romps that took place in bawdy theater halls more than 100 years ago, and others occur in more recent times in the home of a religious fanatic.
no matter the setting or the story she gives us unique, vivid characters who happen to be gay. It is wonderful to read the representation.

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a coming of age tale about a young woman raised by a fanatical mother, silently coming to terms with her sexuality. The mother believes that homosexuality is a sin and tries everything she can to dispossess her daughter of that sin. This is an odd, quirky book. The author has threaded several fairy tales through the story. They seem to be figments from the imagination of our protagonist. Little wishful characters showing her that life can be what she wishes. I found them confusing and unnecessary. Is the book novel or memoir? For that you need to read the book.

Also, although the novel is often termed a "lesbian novel" Winterson has objected to the label. She says: "I've never understood why straight fiction is supposed to be for everyone, but anything with a gay character or that includes gay experience is only for queers." I could not agree more.

2 people found this helpful

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Great performance of a great book

Jeanette Winterson has always been a favorite—but having her perform it is a real treat.

2 people found this helpful

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I Learned Important Concepts

This is a five star book based not on the story or the quality of the writing but on the lessons it taught me about being a better human being and a better husband.

1 person found this helpful

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Liked this much more than I expected to

I chose this book because I was looking for Sapphic book for a Reading Challenge. I didn't much think about it, and expected it to be okay, but instead it was fabulous. It was funny where it should be and heart-wrenching where it needed to be, and not too short or too long. It felt timeless and anachronistic and I didn't really know when it was supposed to take place. I thought that fit well.

I'm not sure where reality is divided from fiction. Jeanette is the adopted child of a very Christian mother and a less devout father. It is a coming of age novel. As she grows she realizes that she likes girls. This doesn't sit well with her mother. There are no explicit sex scenes.

The author reads her own book which is very fitting. I give the book and narration 5 stars.

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Great insight of being, becoming & benefittng love

Transitional tragedy and triumph of self & spirit. you always benefit from all Jeanette Winters on writes.
Thank you Jeanette!! 💞

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Great Story!

I really enjoyed listening to her experiences as a young woman navigating family expectations, religion, and sexuality! Jeanette’s narration of her story was absolutely amazing!

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just plain great

it was really great to hear Jeanette winterson read her own book. What a boys, what a story!

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Disappointing

I am a huge fan of Jeanette Wintersonne, but this story failed to engage me. Not up to her own high standard.