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Sexing the Cherry

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  14,442 ratings  ·  854 reviews
In a fantastic world that is and is not seventeenth-century England, a baby is found floating in the Thames. The child, Jordan, is rescued by Dog Woman and grows up to travel the world like Gulliver, though he finds that the world’s most curious oddities come from his own mind. Winterson leads the reader from discussions on the nature of time to Jordan’s fascination with j ...more
Paperback, 167 pages
Published August 10th 1998 by Grove Press (first published January 1st 1989)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,442 ratings  ·  854 reviews


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Lisa
"People will believe anything. Except, it seems, the truth."

I am in awe of Jeanette Winterson's writing. I don't know how else to put it. After The Passion, I honestly thought I could not be more impressed. But I think "Sexing The Cherry" may be even better. I suspect that her short novels should be read again as soon as you have added another one to your repertoire, because there are recurring themes and (fruity) flavours that are definitely part of Winterson's general narrative.
"Sexing the Che
...more
Tina
Jul 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Paul Bryant
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Austen
Nov 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Greta
Jul 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Shayantani Das
Jan 30, 2016 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.”
Lea
Aug 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Jo (A follower of wizards)
"I had sex with a man once: in and out. A soundtrack of grunts and a big sigh at the end"

This being the third book I've read by Winterson, I've concluded that she is certainly not the average writer. She's incredibly unique, and there is an oddity in her works. Winterson is an acquired taste, but she's definitely "my taste"

This book is set in England, and the story jumps back and forth in time. During this, we meet various characters. I think the dog woman has to be my favourite. Weaved expert
...more
Molly
Dec 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Riff
Aug 25, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Tim
Aug 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Fatin
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
...more
Kirsty
Winterson is one of my favourite authors, and Sexing the Cherry was a long-outstanding book for me within her oeuvre. The novel is a slim but very well reviewed piece which I was eager to read. Telling the story of Jordan, who was abandoned beside a river in that age-old Bible parody style, Sexing the Cherry is immediately captivating. Winterson's language is both playful and creative, and the dual perspectives of Jordan and his adoptive mother are incredibly effective. The historical setting ha ...more
Michelle Yoon
Jan 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Jenny
Jun 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Fabian
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wonderfully titled and less porny than expected, "Sexting the Cherry" is a brilliant poem-in-prose. It's hilarious; the details are awkward and perfect. The silliness is nicely coated by pathos--something grand is stirring, yet, as Winterson proposes, it is not particularly mentioned.

"Every journey conceals another journey within its lines: the path not taken and the forgotten angle."

This oddity could be classified as meta-lit, as alternate history, as a Voltairesque journey into whimsy & po
...more
Shawn
Dec 28, 2011 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
...more
Joanka
Winterson is amazing when it comes to fragments, paragraphs, she can tell a tiny little story that is oh so beautiful and then punches you in the gut while still smiling subtly. This is definitely something I fall for, I’m afraid. Add great language skills, she weave the sentences as she pleases and they work masterfully. She happily intertwines reality with fantasy, creating worlds that seems so real, although magical things happen there (while reading I thought that Haruki Murakami’s style doe ...more
Lisa
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
...more
Jamie
Nov 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Emma
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Elise
Apr 18, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Jayde
Jul 24, 2013 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
tee
Jan 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Joshie
Surprisingly, this was too strange and disjointed for my taste. Packed with odd sexual encounters (although not as pornographic as the title suggested) and murders contradicting some of its religious themes and tone of justice, the inclusion of time and love as concepts did not seem enough to tie everything Winterson was trying to say in this novel of attachments, outcast characters, known mythologies and fragments of histories reimagined with reflective feminism to boot. Still, I will not deny ...more
Jasmine
May 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Elaine
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, audio
Deliciously and decadently fantastical. As read by Juliet Stevenson, it was a Rabelasian, Defoe-ian (adjective please) myth making allegorical delight. I wanted to disappear into these interlocking worlds that are Oliver Cromwell's England, and now, and the world of fairytales all at the same time. Alas, the book is far too short!
Inga
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hate to admit it but I have no clue what I just read. It was absolutely beautifully written and that kept me going but I didn't understand any of it, Jeanette really let her imagination vomit all over the pages.
Lesliemae
Jun 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
...more
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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
“As your lover describes you, so you are.” 724 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.” 438 likes
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