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Sexing The Cherry

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,463 Ratings  ·  600 Reviews
Sexing the Cherry celebrates the power of the imagination as it playfully juggles with our perceptions of history and reality; love and sex; lies and truths; and the twelve dancing princesses who lived happily ever after, but not with their husbands.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published 1990 by Vintage Books (first published January 1st 1989)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Paul Bryant
Mar 10, 2013 Paul Bryant rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels

Date 15 January 23rd January
Time 19:00 – 20.15
Location : The Box

Excerpt from interview with P Bryant

Detective Munch : Thing is, my literary friend, you got no proof.

PB : Proof?

Det Munch : Anyone can invent an identity and claim to have read like a zillion books and then post up fake reviews. Anyone. I could pay 15 year olds to do it.

PB : Well, so what? That’s the internet for you. Who cares?

Det Pembleton : Who cares? Did you hear that John? Who cares? We care. Let me explain a little. This Good
Jul 25, 2007 Tina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Jeannette Winterson is one of my all-time favorite writers and I'm constantly recommending this slim book. For what it lacks in girth, the book makes up for in substance. I have never more furiously scribbled passages down in my journal for future reference.
The story itself is entertaining enough to merit the book worth a read. The premise is reminiscent of a Brother's Grimm fairy tale - you know, back when fairy tales were sort of dark, creepy, and a little scary, before Disney got its hands on
Nov 21, 2008 Austen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 20, 2008 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone alive
Recommended to Molly by: Natalie Giarratano
Sometimes I think I would like to write a letter of thanks to Jeanette Winterson. The letter would go something like this, "Thank you, Ms. Winterson, for being so magical. Thank you for holding on to the play of childhood and mingling it with a breadth of creative intelligence I never knew existed. Thank you for reading as much as you do and for deploying history in new and invigorating ways. Thank you for playing with your narratives, changing your characters into hyperboles of their human selv ...more
Jul 13, 2012 Greta rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Once I stood in a museum looking at a "painting" hanging on the wall. It had all the components of a painting: the canvas, lines and squiggles rendered in pencil, the artist's signature, and some blotches of color here and there. I read the review on the little plaque next to it which described what it was made of, its post-modern symbolism, it's meaning. I didn't see that at all.

Another time I put on a CD to listen to. It had all the components of "music": instruments, notes, pauses, a musician
I may come back later and bump this up to 5 stars -- I really enjoyed the story and Winterson's gorgeous writing.

Well, describing this one is going to take some doing . . .

Set in England, the story jumps back and forth between the 1600s and the 1990s (or thereabouts). We see moments in the lives of various characters: the Dog Woman, a coarse giant of a woman who is continually reforming her murderous ways; Jordan, her son, who she found floating in the Thames; Nicholas Jordan, a naval cadet; as
Shayantani Das
Jan 31, 2016 Shayantani Das rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very rewarding reading experience!
My favorite quote:

“The Buddhists say there are 149 ways to God. I'm not looking for God, only for myself, and that is far more complicated. God has had a great deal written about Him; nothing has been written about me. God is bigger, like my mother, easier to find, even in the dark. I could be anywhere, and since I can't describe myself I can't ask for help.”
Aug 25, 2010 Riff rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Painfully pretentious and drowning in a mess of its failed aspirations, it's always a bad thing when an author becomes too fond of the sound of their own voice. Characters, ideas, feelings, and stories are lost under the weight of what I can only presume is Winterson's creative vanity. While arguably intelligent she lacks the poetic ability required to pull off a style like this, using language which distracts and detracts from the world she is struggling to present. A wonderful imagination is c ...more
Jun 05, 2010 Jenny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The juxtaposition of the stories of the giant woman living on the banks of the Thames with her dogs and her adopted son who is drawn to exploring the world in the mid 1600s was interesting. The incorporation of the stories of women who although kept by men for their pleasure are still able to lead lives of their own and escape were interesting asides as was the story of the 12 dancing princesses. The drawings of the banana and the pineapple at the top of the paragraph when the narrator changed w ...more
Jan 06, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Sexing the Cherry, Jordan is found floating in the River Thames. A large woman, known only as the Dog Woman, rescues baby Jordan, and brings him up like her own son. But Jordan, having been ‘born’ of the river, belongs to the river, and it isn’t long before the flowing waters reclaim him once again, as he sets of with sails to travel the world.

The book is told with alternating narratives, first Jordan, then the mother, then Jordan again and so forth. But while the mother’s narratives sound li
I...I don't know what just happened. I think I need to go reread some parts of this book, or at least think it over again because I am so darn confused.

But as for what I did understand, there are parts of this book that are bewitching, and then there are parts that drag so much it is as if there is no life in them.

This was a vintage twin set, basically I got the book for free along with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The set is called Vintage Monsters. So I guess I'll spend tonight thinking about
Dec 04, 2013 Jayde rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to enjoy this book and whilst I appreciate that it is written very well in a literary sense, it did not appeal to me at all. The relentless misandry made it quite a boring read, despite its short length. I could see flashes of brilliance in this book (the dancing princesses, the character of dog-woman), however none of it was fleshed out to any sort of degree to make me want to read on. All in all a difficult 140 pages to trawl through. I can't help thinking that if it were a lit ...more
May 21, 2014 Elise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frankly, I have no words for this one, but I will attempt a review. I had such high hopes for "Sexing the Cherry" (billed as important to Magic Realist enthusiasts), so I would be lying if I didn't admit that I was just a little bit disappointed after reading it. This one barely hangs together as a novel, and at times, I would get annoyed feeling like I was reading someone's unpolished dream and nightmare journals. This book is filled with bizarre episodes both disorienting and also, at times, s ...more
Dec 31, 2011 Shawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kyla
bizzarly profound.

food for thought:

"The Hopi, an Indian tribe, have a language as sophisticated as ours, but no tenses for the past, present and future. The division does not exist. What does this say about time?
Matter, that thing the most solid and well-known, which you are holding in your hands and which makes up your body, is now known to be mostly empty space. Empty space and points of light. What does this say about the reality of the world"(frontispiece)?

"Truth to tell, I could have snappe
Aug 01, 2007 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
possibly my absolute favorite book of all time. I want jeanette winterson to read me a bedtime story every night. I didn't know how much I could worship an author before I read this. It's short but potent, and thoroughly infused with her wit. Please please read it, it's wonderful.
Aug 16, 2011 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is utterly beautiful. Winterson has an incredibly gifted talent of writing the most magical prose. I was utterly in awe, and a teeny bit jealous of her superbly written imaginative tales of the princess's who lived happily ever after, (just not with their husbands), the twisted reality of Sixteenth Century England, (taking a fair amount of time commenting on the battle between Cromwell's republican Commonwealth and the already established monarchy), not to mention throwing in detailed ...more
Feb 25, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jeannette Winterson's poetic-prose is crack to me. I obsess about her sentences like a junkie. Her images and words find me at the oddest times; sometimes they call to me. They set up camp in my head and never leave. They speak me. They speak what I long to be. They speak what I fear being. I push them around in my mouth just to feel them form, again and again.

This book is something of a loose mixture of historical fiction, sci-fi time-travel lit, brutal Brothers-Grimm style fairy tale, and clas
Jan 16, 2008 tee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
Wah. Some of Winterson's works make me feel as if I completely missing out on something, like it's going straight over my head. Which is likely the case considering I am not the most intellectual of sorts but I don't like being reminded of this when trying to enjoy a novel. Further, with most books that are a little too 'smart' for me, I usually understand why. Either it's the content, or the heavy vocabulary or some such thing.

But Winterson ... sometimes I feel like I just don't get it. Rather
Jul 26, 2013 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books
I'm into the whole magic realism thing. I tore my way through the souls in different times confusion of Cloud Atlas. It was pretty much guaranteed that I would approve of this genius fusion of the two.

Dog-Woman and her son Jordan make their way through the tumultuous years in 17th century Britain. Except sometimes Jordan isn't there - he's off sailing to find new exotic fruits for the King or searching for his true love in some sort of other dimension. Dog-Woman herself stretches the realm of re
Lisa B
Nov 30, 2015 Lisa B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
"I've been everywhere, but I still have a feeling I've missed it. I feel like I'm being laughed at, I don't know what by, who by, it sounds silly. I think I may have missed the world, that the one I've seen is a decoy to get me off the scent. I feel as though I'm always on the brink of making sense of it and then I lose it again."

At once awfully confusing and deeply profound, this book is fantasy and truth. I found myself enraptured with the images that Jeanette Winterson paints, laughing out lo
Jan 30, 2016 Vale rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vale by: Francesco Fantuzzi
Niente trucchi da quattro soldi

Mentre leggevo questo libro mi tornavano in mente le parole di Carver, perché ho percepito l'intera architettura del romanzo come falsa: un modo originale per avvinghiare il lettore alla storia, ma in una modalità artefatta e stucchevole.
E' una questione di gusti e di sensibilità personali, ma mi dispiace perché la voce narrante, nonostante tutto, resta davvero forte e le capacità dell'autrice non sono in discussione.
A volte sembra che un autore voglia per forza
Aug 26, 2008 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book is seriously amazing -- confused and intricate and beautiful and miserable. i'd tried it in high school, with limited success. i decided to try again after seeing winterson at the pen writer's conference, and she told of how, after leaving home for the last time, her mother yelled after her, "why be happy when you could be normal?'. i've read most of her books since, except for the futuristic one that was just in the running for the bad sex in literature prize.....
Aug 24, 2007 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this for Dorota Glowacka's Postmodern women's literature course for my Master's. It is one of the shortest and densest novels I have ever read. It is provocative at every step of the way, turning myth and story on their ears. I loved it so much I did my seminar presentation on it and wrote a paper that was accepted for an anthology on Jeanette Winterson, but which was sadly never published.

Hence started my love affair with Winterson's words.
May 16, 2007 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
beautifully written, absolutely hilarious, and totally empowering. winterson smoothly dispels all preconceived ideas of what constitutes a love story and creates something all her own. she makes her statements about love and gender without being preachy or condescending, which i totally appreciate, and wraps it all up in a plot that pushes you around a little but you like it so it doesn't matter. i especially loved the story of the princesses.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Jun 24, 2012 Jayaprakash Satyamurthy rated it really liked it
I'm not really sure of much when it comes to this novel, except that I enjoyed it. Winterson plays games with time, identity, gender, history, legend and myth, peppering her fictional inventions with meditations on time, space, identity and love. This is a novel that is as dense as anything by Pynchon, but shorter, more enjoyable and with a Borgesian imagination.
A orillas del Támesis, una mujer de cuerpo enorme, gigante, encuentra un niño al que pone el significativo nombre de Jordan. Esta mujer, llamada Mujer Perro resulta ser toda una fuerza de la naturaleza, haciendo su propia justicia allá donde cree necesario. Por otra parte, Jordan es un soñador que viajará por mundos llenos de aventuras y cuentos de princesas. Durante este viaje soñado, conocerá una casa sin suelo, y a las princesas bailarinas. Todos estos cuentos de hadas conforman su propia his ...more
Jun 19, 2010 Lesliemae rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lesliemae by: Jeremy Craig
Shelves: women-writers
I was surprised by this book because my current grad research focuses around Andrew Marvell, and Jeanette Winterson's Sexing the Cherry appears to engage his poem "The Mower Against Gardens". The pertinent piece of the Marvell poem has to do with grafting and creating "forbidden mixtures" in the enclosed English garden of the late 1600s. Winterson's novel, also set in the late 1600s seems a parody of some of the time periods ideas about both grafting, sexuality, and gender.

From Marvell's poem we
Apr 07, 2010 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susan by:
Shelves: book-club
This book is a conundrum to me. It is beautifully written. It is more prose poem than novel. Calling this a novel did it a great disservice in my mind.

Passages and passages of powerful, beautiful imagery. In terms of exploration of the nature of love, relationships, self and time, this book earns 5 stars.

In terms of actually pulling all of those things into a cohesive and assessable story or book, it falls short. I often had the feeling this book grew out of an series of writing exercises. In so
Sep 10, 2012 Jasmine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic-realism
Ah....Jeanette Winterson, how I loved 'The Passion', it was perfectly whimsical, the perfect blend of realism and fantasy, a bit of history thrown in and even a bit of romance.
Now, what the hell were you thinking with 'Sexing the Cherry'? I just don't know where you were going with this.

I was actually really disappointed with Winterson's effort here. After reading the Passion a couple of years ago, I was looking forward to another dose of her kookiness and alternative history spinning. What I go
Louise Broadbent
Mar 16, 2013 Louise Broadbent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To think of this as a historical novel is to miss the point. It's a novel of ideas, principally about the journey of life, which for Winterson is as much about imagination as reality. Time and place are both capable of simultaneous, multiple existences -I.e. we can be in more than one time and place at once. What is true is not the same as what is real.

The characters happen to live in the 1600s (or do they?) but to me this is because the 1600s were a time of exploration and change - it's symbol
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Charles I 3 43 Apr 14, 2014 08:02PM  
Goodreads Librari...: incorrect cover change (sexing the cherry) 2 22 Aug 13, 2012 08:20PM  
Goodreads Librari...: description change 5 40 Mar 04, 2012 09:34AM  
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Novelist Jeanette Winterson was born in Manchester, England in 1959. She was adopted and brought up in Accrington, Lancashire, in the north of England. Her strict Pentecostal Evangelist upbringing provides the background to her acclaimed first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, published in 1985. She graduated from St Catherine's College, Oxford, and moved to London where she worked as an assi ...more
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“As your lover describes you, so you are.” 691 likes
“The Buddhists say there are 149 ways to God. I'm not looking for God, only for myself, and that is far more complicated. God has had a great deal written about Him; nothing has been written about me. God is bigger, like my mother, easier to find, even in the dark. I could be anywhere, and since I can't describe myself I can't ask for help.” 406 likes
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