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Winterson Jeanette 1959- British novelist best known for the experimental and sometimes controversial ways in which her fiction explores such issues as gender roles and sexual orientation Winterson was born in Manchester England and adopted by religious parents who prepared her to become a preacher A lesbian affair at the age of 15 however estranged her from her family and she left home Working in various jobs she continued her education eventually studying English at Saint Catharines College at the University of Oxford from 1978 until 1981 when she received her MA degree She then worked at the Roundhouse Theatre in London and thereafter in publishing until 1987 when she became a full-time writer Wintersons first novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit 1985 was mainly autobiographical chronicling the struggles of a young lesbian girl against a domineering mother and the strictures of conditioning for evangelical service It won Britains Whitbread Award for a first novel in 1985 and a successful television serialization was broadcast in 1990 Boating for Beginners 1985 is a satirical retelling of the biblical Noahs Ark story and The Passion 1987 juxtaposes the tale of a French peasant who is chef to Napoleon I with that of a girl from a fishing community in Venice Italy Sexing the Cherry 1989 sets two 17th-century characters against modern counterparts and marks a decisive shift in Wintersons style toward a fractured and incantatory rhetoric Her next book Written on the Body 1992 charts a love triangle in which the gender of the main character is not specified Art Lies 1994 portrays a gathering between characters called Handel Sappho and Picasso with no plot and little sense of time or place Wintersons first collection of short stories The World and Other Places was published in 1999
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