LGBT Young Adult Literature/Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

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Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a novel by Jeanette Winterson published in 1985, which she subsequently adapted into a BBC television drama. It is a coming-of-age story about a lesbian girl who grows up in an English Pentecostal community.

Background

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The book and subsequent BBC mini series, adapted by Winterson, is believed to be semi-autobiographical and is generally based on Winterson's life in Accrington, Lancashire, after moving from her birth town Manchester. The book was written many years after any actual events as Winterson moved to London, her present location.

Reception

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  • The novel won Winterson the Whitbread Award for a First Novel in 1985.
  • Jeanette Winterson does not consider this novel to be a lesbian novel, arguing, 'I've never understood why straight fiction is supposed to be for everyone, but anything with a gay character or that includes gay experience is only for queers.'
  • The book is now popular in U.K. schools, most often as part of an A-level literature course.