Sunday, August 24, 2014

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight is a British writer, broadcaster and activist. Today's Out Spotlight is Jeanette Winterston, OBE.

Jeanette Winterson was born August 27, 1959 in Manchester England and was adopted by Constance and John William Winterson on January 21, 1960. She grew up in Accrington, Lancashire, and was raised in the Elim Pentecostal Church. Intending to become a Pentecostal Christian missionary, she began evangelising and writing sermons at age six.

By the age of 16, Winterson had identified herself as a lesbian and left home. She soon after attended Accrington and Rossendale College, and supported herself at a variety of odd jobs while at St Catherine's College, Oxford studying English.

After graduating, she moved to London, and her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, won the 1985 Whitbread Prize for a First Novel, and was adapted for television by Winterson in 1990. In turn the show won the BAFTA Award for Best Drama.

She won the 1987 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for The Passion, a novel set in Napoleonic Europe.

Winterston has authored over 20 books, including fiction, graphic novels, children's books, collections of short stories and a memoir, as well as adapting her work for stage and screen.

Her subsequent novels explore the boundaries of physicality and the imagination, gender polarities, and sexual identities, and have won several literary awards. Her stage adaptation of The PowerBook in 2002 opened at the Royal National Theatre, London. She also bought a derelict terraced house in Spitalfields, East London, which she refurbished into a flat as a pied-à-terre and a ground-floor shop, Verde's, to sell organic food.

In 2009, she donated her short story Dog Days to Oxfam's Ox-Tales project comprising four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors. Her story was published in the Fire collection. She also supported the relaunch of the Bush Theatre in London's Shepherd's Bush. She wrote and performed work for the Sixty Six project, based on a chapter of the King James Bible, along with other novelists and poets including Paul Muldoon, Carol Ann Duffy, Anne Michaels and Catherine Tate.

Her 2012 novella, The Daylight Gate, based on the 1612 Pendle Witch Trials, was published on the 400th anniversary of the trials. The novella's main character, Alice Nutter, is based on the real-life woman of the same name.

In 2012, she succeeded Colm Tóibín as professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester.

Winterson was made an officer of Order of the British Empire (OBE) at the 2006 New Year Honours "For services to literature".

Winterston is a two-time winner of the Lambda Literary Awards. Her book, Written on the Body, won in the category of Lesbian Fiction in 1994, and Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? won in the category of Lesbian Memoir or Biography in 2013. Additionally, her book Sexing the Cherry won the 1989 E. M. Forster Award.

Since coming out as a lesbian at the age of 16, Winterson has had a number of significant relationships. Her 1987 novel The Passion was inspired by her affair with Pat Kavanagh, her literary agent.

 From 1990 to 2002, Winterson was involved with BBC radio broadcaster and academic Peggy Reynolds. Since their relationship ended, Winterson has been involved with theatre director Deborah Warner and therapist Susie Orbach.


prairiegirl said...

I always admire writers. Having delved into fanfiction myself, I don't compare myself at all to these professional, successful writers, but I do have great admiration for those who can weave a tale and have character development, cover art, all of it.

Ugh. I am not ready for the weekend to end. It went too fast and I got hardly any writing done at all. Been jacking around the whole time and watching Tumblr for all the VanCon updates.

That and letting the wiener dogs in and out, in and out.

Going down kickin' and screamin' to turn in for the night because that just means when I wake up, the weekend's over and it's time to go to work. **heavy sigh** Just ain't ready for it.

destiny said...

I really liked Orange is Not a Fruit. I tried some of her later books and just could not get into them, a little too literary, for lack of a better word, for my taste. I just can't get into books where the emphasis is on the language and form of the book, although I do appreciate what goes into a book like that. Probably been "ruined" by reading too many mysteries and other books that just zip along.

Special K said...

Headline in the morning paper. "Michael Sam sacks Johnny Manziel, Internet falls apart."

the real m said...

Austin had a cute bit on Ray Donovan last night, including the line "I'm sucking dicks again". That really made me smile.

Interesting spotlight as usual.

Twitter said...

Noah Lee (@noahphex)
8/24/14, 21:15

Everytime I see Austin Nichols on Ray Donovan it makes me miss John From Cincinnati, a criminally underrated TV show that ended too early