‘Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit’ is Jeanette Winterson’s controversial debut novel first published in 1985. It is a semi-autobiographical novel: the main character is called Jeanette and her experiences of growing up in a Pentecostal household in Lancashire and exploring her sexuality are heavily drawn from the author’s own life. It is a coming-of-age story like no other.
Having read Winterson’s memoirs ‘Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?’ last month, ‘Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit’ seems perhaps less shocking to me than if I had read these books the other way round even though the events are virtually the same. The novel is sensitively written but I found ‘Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?’ to be the more poignant of the two books probably because the distance of time after writing ‘Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit’ made her own memoirs more personal and reflective. Continue reading