The Passion

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The Passion

by Jeanette Winterson

Knopf Canada | October 24, 2000 | Trade Paperback

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Set during the tumultuous years of the Napoleonic Wars, The Passion intertwines the destinies of two remarkable people: Henri, a simple French soldier, who follows Napoleon from glory to Russian ruin; and Villanelle, the red-haired, web-footed daughter of a Venetian boatman, whose husband has gambled away her heart. In Venice''s compound of carnival, chance, and darkness, the pair meet their singular destiny. In her unique and mesmerizing voice, Winterson blends reality with fantasy, dream, and imagination to weave a hypnotic tale with stunning effects.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 192 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: October 24, 2000

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0676973493

ISBN - 13: 9780676973495

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

The Passion

The Passion

by Jeanette Winterson

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 192 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: October 24, 2000

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0676973493

ISBN - 13: 9780676973495

Read from the Book

Our companion loosed her laces but kept her boots on, and seeing my surprise at forgoing this unexpected luxury said, ''My father was a boatman. Boatmen do not take off their boots.'' We were silent, either out of respect for her customs or sheer exhaustion, but it was she who offered to tell us her story if we chose to listen. ''A fire and a tale,'' said Patrick. ''Now all we need is a drop of something hot,'' and he fathomed from the bottom of his unfathomable pockets another stoppered jar of evil spirit. This was her story. I have always been a gambler. It''s a skill that comes naturally to me like thieving and loving. What I didn''t know by instinct I picked up from working the Casino, from watching others play and learning what it is that people value and therefore what it is they will risk. I learned how to put a challenge in such a way as to make it irresistible. We gamble with the hope of winning. But it''s the thought of what we might lose that excites us. How you play is a temperamental thing; cards, dice, dominoes, jacks, such preferences are frills merely. All gamblers sweat. I come from the city of chances, where everything is possible but where everything has a price. In this city great fortunes are won and lost overnight. It has always been so. Ships that carry silk and spices sink, the servant betrays the master, the secret is out and the bell tolls another accidental death. But penniless adventurers have always been welcome here too, they are good luck and ve
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From the Publisher

Set during the tumultuous years of the Napoleonic Wars, The Passion intertwines the destinies of two remarkable people: Henri, a simple French soldier, who follows Napoleon from glory to Russian ruin; and Villanelle, the red-haired, web-footed daughter of a Venetian boatman, whose husband has gambled away her heart. In Venice''s compound of carnival, chance, and darkness, the pair meet their singular destiny. In her unique and mesmerizing voice, Winterson blends reality with fantasy, dream, and imagination to weave a hypnotic tale with stunning effects.

About the Author

A novelist whose honours include England's Whitbread Prize, and the American Academy's E. M. Forster Award, as well as the Prix d'argent at the Cannes Film Festival, Jeanette Winterson burst onto the literary scene as a very young woman in 1985 with Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. Her subsequent novels, including Sexing the Cherry, The Passion, Written on the Body, and The PowerBook, have also gone on to receive great international acclaim. Her latest novel is Lighthousekeeping, heralded as "a brilliant, glittering, piece of work" (The Independent). She lives in London and the Cotswolds.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

"An explosively imaginative writer." - The London Free Press

"A historical novel quite different from any other...written with a living passion, an eyewitness immediacy.... Winterson is a master of her material, a writer in whom great talent deeply abides." - Vanity Fair

"Recalls Garcia Marquez.... Magical touches dance like highlights over the brilliance of this fairy tale about passion, gambling, madness, and androgynous ecstasy." - Edmund White

"The overwhelming impression of her work is one of remarkable self-confidence, and she evidently thrives on risk.... As good as Poe: it dares you to laugh and stares you down."- The New York Review of Books
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