Jeanette Winterson–An Introduction to LGBTQ characters

I sort of stumbled upon literature that featured LGBTQ characters so I thought it might be helpful to share some of my findings.  

One of the first authors who introduced me to queer characters was Jeanette Winterson.  Winterson identifies as a lesbian and has been writing and publishing novels since 1985.  She published her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, when she was just 24 years old.  For more information on Jeanette Winterson you can access her website–http://www.jeanettewinterson.com/–and/or read an interview from The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2006/jun/25/jeanettewinterson.

If you are new to Winterson’s work and are looking for somewhere to begin, I’d recommend Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit–it’s a coming-out tale so if you’re looking for some inspiration or solidarity, start here.  The novel is semi-autobiographical with the protagonist grappling with her sexual identity amidst a Pentecostal community.  The novel is also a coming-of-age tale so no need to identify as queer to relate to this protagonist, which brings up an interesting point.  Jeanette Winterson dislikes identifying her novel as 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” (interview from her website).  While I agree that any novel that features gay characters can speak to a “non-gay,” I am including Winterson in this blog because she writes good lesbian characters.  There may come a time when there is no need to differentiate well-written lesbian characters from poorly-written lesbian characters.  There may come a time when my sexual identity won’t be a political issue, but it is for the time being.  

So if you are looking for a good read and some well-written LGTBQ characters, pick up something by Jeanette Winterson.

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~ by thornfieldrose on June 15, 2012.

2 Responses to “Jeanette Winterson–An Introduction to LGBTQ characters”

  1. Thank you for posting again. As a subscriber, I feel well taken care of.

  2. I think it is a lesbian novel, but not a genre novel. It fits the category “literary fiction”. I look forward to good gay characters written by straight people as main characters.

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