Read Written on the Body Online

Authors: Jeanette Winterson

Written on the Body (20 page)

Sexing the Cherry
Written on the Body
Art & Lies
Art Objects
Gut Symmetries
The World and Other Places
The PowerBook
The Stone Gods
The Battle of the Sun



A train hurtles through the future with three passengers on board: a disillusioned surgeon named Handel, whose humanity has been sacrificed to intellect; a woman artist named Picasso, cast out by a family that drove her to madness; and the lesbian poet sappho, who has propagated her subversive gospel through centuries of censorship and exile. Out of their interwoven stories comes an impassioned, philosophical, and daring novel that burns with phosphorescent prose on every page.


One starry night on a boat in the mid-Atlantic, Alice, a brilliant English theoretical physicist, begins an affair with Jove, her remorselessly seductive American counterpart. But Jove is married. When Alice confronts his wife, Stella, she swiftly falls in love with her, with consequences that are by turns horrifying, comic, and arousing. Vaulting from Liverpool to New York, from alchemy to string theory, and from the spirit to the flesh,
Gut Symmetries
is a thrillingly original novel by England’s most flamboyantly gifted writer.


The narrator of
Written on the Body
has neither name nor gender; the beloved is a married woman. And as Winterson chronicles their consuming affair, she compels us to see love stripped of clichés and categories, as a phenomenon as visceral as blood and organs, bone and tissue—and as strange as an undiscovered continent.


Ali writes stories on e-mail for anyone who wants them. She promises “freedom just for one night”—but she does not do so without a warning: the story might change you. Ask for an epic love story and you will get one, but Ali will be cast in it, too, and the lines between the real and the imagined may blur. Plucking characters from history and myth as well as her imagination, Ali journeys through time and stops in London, Paris, and Capri, all the while weaving stories that question the boundaries of cyberspace, the human heart, and the novel.

Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery

In these ten intertwined essays, one of our most provocative novelists proves that she is just as stylish and outrageous as an art critic. For when Jeanette Winterson looks at works as diverse as the
Mona Lisa
and Virginia Woolf’s
The Waves
, she frees them from layers of preconception and restores their power to exalt and unnerve, shock and transform us. Whether she is writing about the demands paintings make on their viewers, the subversive “autobiography” of Gertrude Stein, the ghettoization of gay and lesbian writers, or the origins of her own defiant love affair with language, Winterson continually reminds us that the term “art objects” denotes not only things but acts. Art objects to the lie that life is small, fragmented, and mean; it instead proclaims the opposite. And so does Winterson’s wise and fiery book.


With language as dazzling as the wondrous visionary landscapes they evoke, these seventeen works transport the reader to worlds in which sleep is illegal, the lives of lonely department store clerks are transformed by fairies, the rich wear coal jewelry on an island of diamonds, and the living laminate their dead. Here is a universe where rooms go missing, women give birth to their lovers, and the young contemplate God’s creative powers through pet tortoises. These beguiling stories, by turns startlingly passionate and cannily satirical, chart an extraordinary writing career.

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