Winterson was born in Manchester and adopted by Constance and John William Winterson on 21 January 1960. She grew up in Accrington, Lancashire, and was raised in the Elim Pentecostal Church. Intending to become a Pentecostal Christian missionary, she began evangelising and writing sermons at age six.
By the age of 16 Winterson had identified as a lesbian and left home. She soon after attended Accrington and Rossendale College, and supported herself at a variety of odd jobs while reading for a degree in English at St Catherine's College, Oxford.
After moving to London, her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, won the 1985 Whitbread Prize for a First Novel, and was adapted for television by Winterson in 1990. This in turn won the BAFTA Award for Best Drama. She won the 1987 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for The Passion, a novel set in Napoleonic Europe.
Winterson's subsequent novels explore the boundaries of physicality and the imagination, gender polarities, and sexual identities, and have won several literary awards. Her stage adaptation of The PowerBook in 2002 opened at the Royal National Theatre, London. She also bought a derelict terraced house in Spitalfields, east London, which she refurbished into a flat as a pied-a-terre and a ground-floor shop, Verde's, to sell organic food.
Jeanette Winterson is a British writer. In 2002, Winterson ended her 12year relationship with BBC radio broadcaster and academic, Peggy Reynolds. Since then she has been involved with theatre director Deborah Warner and therapist Susie Orbach. Her novel The Passion was inspired by her affair with Pat Kavanagh, her literary agent. She bought a terraced house in Spitalfields, east London, which she refurbished into a flat as a pied-a-terre and a ground-floor shop, Verde's, to sell organic food.
Winterson was made an officer of Order of the British Empire (OBE) at the 2006 New Year Honours "For services to literature".
In 2009, she donated the short story Dog Days to Oxfam's Ox-Tales project comprising four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors. Winterson's story was published in the Fire collection. She also supported the relaunch of the Bush Theatre in London's Shepherd's Bush. She wrote and performed work for the Sixty Six project, based on a chapter of the King James Bible, along with other novelists and poets including Paul Muldoon, Carol Ann Duffy, Anne Michaels and Catherine Tate.
The Passion by Jeanette Winterson is a novel I read in college. It is about Henri, a soldier, who falls in love with Villanelle, the daughter of a Venetian boatman, who lost her heart (literally) to a married noblewoman and wanders the world in search of it. When I say "lost," I mean physically ~ one of the best things about Winterson's writing is her words. I loved the language of the book, and I remember falling in love with Winterson's writing style (and it didn't hurt that her first name is the same as mine). Immediately after I read this book, I wrote quite a few poems about keeping one's heart safe in a box, then went out and bought a number of Winterson's other novels. If you haven't read anything by her, you're missing out. --J.M. Snyder
"Magical Realism" was coined for books like The Passion by Jeanette Winterson. Set in the Napoleonic Wars, it´s about a woman whose heart is literally stolen by another woman and she goes searching to reclaim it. Breathtaking. Like all the books on my Top 10 list, after I put this down I asked myself what the hell I was doing writing. Nothing I ever scratched out would ever compare to this. --Eric ArvinSusie Orbach (born 1946) is a British psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, writer and social critic.
Orbach was born in London in 1946, and was brought up in Chalk Farm, north London, the child of Jewish parents, British MP (Labour) Maurice Orbach and an American mother (who was a teacher). She won a scholarship to North London Collegiate School, and attended until she was 15.
With Luise Eichenbaum, Orbach created the Women’s Therapy Centre in 1976 and the Women’s Therapy Centre Institute, a training institute in New York, in 1981. She has been a consultant for The World Bank, the NHS and Unilever and was co-originator of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty.
Orbach's relationship with Joseph Schwartz, the father of her two children, ended after more than 30 years. According to writer Jeanette Winterson, now her partner, Orbach "calls herself post-heterosexual".
Orbach has been a Visiting Scholar at the New School for Social Research in New York and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics for ten years. She is currently chair of the Relational School in the UK. Orbach is a convener of Anybody, an organization that campaigns for body diversity. She is a co-founder and board member of Antidote, which works for emotional literacy. Orbach is also a co-founder of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility. She lectures and broadcasts extensively world-wide and has been profiled in numerous newspapers, such as The Guardian
Orbach has a clinical practice and sees both individuals and couples in London.
For 10 years Orbach had a column in The Guardian on emotions in public and private life. These have been compiled into two volumes: What's Really Going on Here and Towards Emotional Literacy. She still writes for newspapers and magazines and campaigns vigorously on many fronts.
Bodies by Susie Orbach
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Picador; First Edition edition (March 3, 2009)
Esteemed Psychotherapist and writer Susie Orbach diagnoses the crisis in our relationship to our bodies and points the way toward a process of healing.
Throughout the Western world, people have come to believe that general dissatisfaction can be relieved by some change in their bodies. Here Susie Orbach explains the origins of this condition, and examines its implications for all of us. Challenging the Freudian view that bodily disorders originate and progress in the mind, Orbach argues that we should look at self-mutilation, obesity, anorexia, and plastic surgery on their own terms, through a reading of the body itself. Incorporating the latest research from neuropsychology, as well as case studies from her own practice, she traces many of these fixations back to the relationship between mothers and babies, to anxieties that are transferred unconsciously, at a very deep level, between the two. Orbach reveals how vulnerable our bodies are, how susceptible to every kind of negative stimulus--from a nursing infant sensing a mother's discomfort to a grown man or woman feeling inadequate because of a model on a billboard. That vulnerability makes the stakes right now tremendously high.
In the past several decades, a globalized media has overwhelmed us with images of an idealized, westernized body, and conditioned us to see any exception to that ideal as a problem. The body has become an object, a site of production and commerce in and of itself. Instead of our bodies making things, we now make our bodies. Susie Orbach reveals the true dimensions of the crisis, and points the way toward healing and acceptance.
On Eating by Susie Orbach
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books (January 3, 2005)
Amazon: On Eating
'Eating is pleasurable, eating is delicious, eating is sensual' says Susie. But for so many of us eating is associated with anguish and abstinence. From the first page this little book shows us how to think and feel differently about what we eat. So that we eat when we are hungry, eat what we want to eat to satisfy us and stop when we are full. Each page contains an easily absorbed bite-sized statement to transform eating that hurts into eating that nourishes and calms. This book isn't magic but it feels as if it is.
Fat Is a Feminist Issue by Susie Orbach
Paperback: 382 pages
Publisher: Arrow Books; New edition edition (January 1, 2006)
Amazon: Fat Is a Feminist Issue
In one volume together with its bestselling sequel When it was first published, "Fat is a Feminist Issue" became an instant classic and it is as relevant today as it was then. Reflecting on our increasingly diet and body-obsessed society, Susie Orbach's new introduction explains how generations of women and girls are growing up absorbing the eating anxieties around them. In an age where women want to be sexy, nurturing, domestic goddesses, confident at work - an equal to their male counterparts, and feminine too, the twenty-first-century woman is poorly armed for survival. Never before has the "Fat is a Feminist Issue" revolution been more in need of revival. Exploring our love/hate relationship with food, Susie Orbach describes how fat is about so much more than food. It is a response to our social situation; the way we are seen by others and ourselves. Too often food is a source of anguish, as are our bodies. But "Fat is a Feminist Issue" discusses how we can turn food into a friend and find ways to accept ourselves for who and how we are. Following the step-by-step guide, and you too can put an end to food anxieties and dieting.
The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Grove Press; First Edition edition (August 7, 1997)
Amazon: The Passion
Jeanette Winterson’s novels have established her as one of the most important young writers in world literature. The Passion is perhaps her most highly acclaimed work, a modern classic that confirms her special claim on the novel. Set during the tumultuous years of the Napoleonic Wars, The Passion intertwines the destinies of two remarkable people: Henri, a simple French soldier, who follows Napoleon from glory to Russian ruin; and Villanelle, the red-haired, web-footed daughter of a Venetian boatman, whose husband has gambled away her heart. In Venice’s compound of carnival, chance, and darkness, the pair meet their singular destiny.
In her unique and mesmerizing voice, Winterson blends reality with fantasy, dream, and imagination to weave a hypnotic tale with stunning effects.
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Grove Press (March 6, 2012)
Amazon: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
Jeanette Winterson’s novels have established her as a major figure in world literature. She has written some of the most admired books of the past few decades, including her internationally bestselling first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, the story of a young girl adopted by Pentecostal parents that is now often required reading in contemporary fiction.
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is a memoir about a life’s work to find happiness. It's a book full of stories: about a girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night; about a religious zealot disguised as a mother who has two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the dresser, waiting for Armageddon; about growing up in an north England industrial town now changed beyond recognition; about the Universe as Cosmic Dustbin.
It is the story of how a painful past that Jeanette thought she'd written over and repainted rose to haunt her, sending her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her biological mother.
Witty, acute, fierce, and celebratory, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is a tough-minded search for belonging—for love, identity, home, and a mother.
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Grove Press (August 20, 1997)
Amazon: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
Winner of the Whitbread Prize for best first fiction, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a coming-out novel from Winterson, the acclaimed author of The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. The narrator, Jeanette, cuts her teeth on the knowledge that she is one of God’s elect, but as this budding evangelical comes of age, and comes to terms with her preference for her own sex, the peculiar balance of her God-fearing household crumbles.
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