Written on the Body

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Written on the Body

by Jeanette Winterson

Knopf Canada | September 27, 1993 | Trade Paperback |

4.8571 out of 5 rating. 7 Reviews
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The most beguilingly seductive novel to date from the author of The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. Winterson chronicles the consuming affair between the narrator, who is given neither name nor gender, and the beloved, a complex and confused married woman.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 192 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: September 27, 1993

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0394280148

ISBN - 13: 9780394280141

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

Written on the Body

Written on the Body

by Jeanette Winterson

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 192 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: September 27, 1993

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0394280148

ISBN - 13: 9780394280141

Read from the Book

The interesting thing about a knot is its formal complexity. Even the simplest pedigree knot, the trefoil, with its three roughly symmetrical lobes, has mathematical as well as artistic beauty. For the religious, Kind Solomon''s knot is said to embody the essence of all knowledge. For carpet makers and cloth weavers all over the world, the challenge of the knot lies in the rules of its surprises. Knots can change but they must be well-behaved. An informal knot is a messy knot. Louise and I were held by a single loop of love. The cord passing round our bodies had no sharp twists or sinister turns. Our wrists were not tied and there was no noose about our necks. In Italy in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries a favourite sport was to fasten two fighters together with a strong rope and let them beat each other to death. Often it was death because the loser couldn''t back off and the victor rarely spared him. The victor kept the rope and tied a knot in it. He had only to swing it through the streets to terrify money from passers-by. I don''t want to be your sport nor you to be mine. I don''t want to punch you for the pleasure of it, tangling the clear lines that bind us, forcing you to your knees, dragging you up again. The public face of a life in chaos. I want the hoop around our hearts to be a guide not a terror. I don''t want to pull you tighter than you can bear. I don''t want the lines to slacken either, the thread paying out over the side, enough rope to hang ourselves.
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From the Publisher

The most beguilingly seductive novel to date from the author of The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. Winterson chronicles the consuming affair between the narrator, who is given neither name nor gender, and the beloved, a complex and confused married woman.

About the Author

Jeanette Winterson was born in Manchester and spent her childhood in Accrington. She studied English at Oxford University. In 1985, she won the Whitbread First Novel Awards for Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. Her second novel, The Passion, won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1987, and was followed by Sexing the Cherry, which won the 1989 EM Forster Award. Her other works include The.PowerBook, Written on the Body, Arts and Lies, Boating for Beginners, The World and Other Places, and a collection of essays, Art Objects.

From the Author

It's a simple story; love found, love lost, love found again - maybe. The unnamed narrator falls for a married woman called Louise. Louise leaves her husband but when she finds she has cancer, she leaves her new lover too.Written on the Body is a journey of self-discovery made through the metaphors of desire and disease.

All of my books are about boundaries and desire - the boundaries we should try to cross, like fear and class and skin-colour and expectation, and the boundaries that seem to define us, such as our sense of self, our gender. Disease, especially a disease like cancer or aids, breaks down the boundaries of the immune system and forces a new self on us that we often don't recognise. Our territory is eaten away. We are parcelled out into healthy areas and metastasised areas. Parts of us are still whole, too much has been invaded. Against this, I wanted to look again, (I am always looking again) at love's ability to shatter and heal simultaneously. Loving someone else destroys our ideas of who we are and what we want. Priorities change, friends change, houses change, we change. Part of the strangeness of being human is our need of boundaries, parameters, definitions, explanations, and our need for them to be overturned. For most people, only the positives of love and faith (and a child is both), or the negatives of disaster and disease, achieve this. Death comes too late. The final shattering affects others, but not ourselves.

From Our Editors

Written on the Body is an intensely sensual novel that celebrates the beauty, pain and impermanence of human existence. The narrator has neither name nor gender; the beloved is a married woman. As Winterson chronicles their consuming affair, she compels us to see love stripped of cliché and category, as visceral as blood and organs and as strange as an undiscovered continent.

Editorial Reviews

"Winterson displays awe-inspiring control over her materials - over language - and a gift for the most searing insights into human nature." — The Globe and Mail "Fun, challenging, often astonishing." — The Toronto Star "Overall, the novel is a cleverly worked and lively meditation on finding love and being lovers, a book that leaves out neither the glory nor the limitations." — The Kingston Whig-Standard "More immediate and more accessible than anything Winterson has written before. The simple elegance of Written on the Body becomes the author''s already impressive oeuvre wonderfully well." — Calgary Herald "Boldly explores that elusive language of love with characteristic versatility, wit and precision." — The Montreal Gazette "A gorgeous, intensely sensual novel that celebrates the most inescapable fact of human existence in all its beauty, pain and impermanence." — The Vancouver Sun "Winterson''s writing, with all its vivid detail, startling intensity and aching intimacy, leaves an indelible impression." — Now magazine "As well written as it is intelligent, as funny as it is compelling." — Xtra! "A hymn of praise to erotic passion...the book has an unforgettable virtuosity. Winterson is an exciting writer. She has literary talent of a high order." —Victoria Glendinning, Vogue , U.K. "An ambitious work, at once a love story and
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