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Jeanette Winterson

After her sparkling early novels, Jeanette Winterson has fallen from literary grace. Is this fair? Or is she the victim of male critics who feel threatened by her lesbianism? Angela Lambert talks to her about God, class, sex and how she writes

By Angela Lambert   February 1998

Jeanette Winterson, asked in 1995 to select her favourite living writer, said: “No one working in the English language now comes close to my exuberance, my passion and fidelity to words.” These may be the most famous-certainly they are the most notorious-words she has ever uttered and they did her enormous damage. The English prefer their writers modest. But as she later said: “If people ask me a question, would they prefer I lie?… That’s the kind of hypocrisy and false modesty that I think is bad for you as a human being and is certainly bad for art.”


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