Winner of the John Llewelyn Rhys Memorial Prize , this psychological fantasty is about two disillusioned young people who seek to revive their former passions. The book is concerned with gambling, madness and androgynous sexuality amidst the dark, deceptive canals of Venice. Jeanette Winterson's first novel, "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit" won the 1985 Whitbread Award for the Best First Novel.
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In 1985 Jeanette Winterson won the Whitbread Award for best first fiction for the semi-autobiographical Oranges are not the Only Fruit, an often wry exploration of lesbian possibility bumping up against evangelical fanaticism. She was 25. Two years later, The Passion, her third novel, appeared, the fantastical tale of Henri--Napoleon's cook--and Villanelle, a Venetian gondolier's daughter who has webbed feet (previously an all-male attribute), works as a croupier, picks pockets, cross-dresses and literally loses her heart to a beautiful woman. Written in a lyrical and jolting combination of fairy-tale diction and rhythm and the staccato, the book would be a risky proposition in lesser hands. Winterson has said that she wanted to look at people's need to worship and examine what happens to young men in militaristic societies. The question was, how to do so without being polemical and didactic? Only she could have come up with such an exquisite answer. In the end, Henri, incarcerated on an island of madmen, becomes aware that his passion, "even though she could never return it, showed me the difference between inventing a lover and falling in love. The one is about you, the other about someone else." -- Amazon.comReview:
'It's a fantasy, a vivid dream-inventive and brilliant' -- Guardian
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1988. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 140108319