Jeanette Winterson CBE

About Jeanette

She was raised in the Elim Pentecostal Church and, intending to become a Pentecostal Christian Missionary she began evangelising and writing sermons at age six. By age 16 Winterson left home. She soon after read for a degree in English at St Catherine’s College, Oxford. After moving to London, her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was published when she was 24 years old. It won the 1985 Whitbread Black for a First Novel, and was adapted by Winterson in 1990, which in turn won the BAFTA Award for Best Drama. She won the 1987 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for The Passion.

Winterson’s subsequent novels explore the boundaries of physicality and the imagination, gender polarities, and sexual identities, and have won several literary awards. Her novel, Frankissstein: A Love Story was longlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize. Her stage adaptation of The PowerBook in 2002 opened at the Royal National Theatre, London. Her latest book is: 12 Bytes: How We Got Here. Where We Might Go Next. It is pure non-fiction and considers the world of big tech and artificial intelligence -- from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to Silicon Valley's search for immortality. She artfully weaves together strands from  philosophy, religion, history and gender studies to create an optimistic whole that helps us understand the current moment and where we might go next.

She also bought a house in Spitalfields east London, which she refurbished into a flat as a pied-a-terre and a ground-floor shop, Verde’s, to sell organic food. Jeanette also writes for many prominent publications including the Guardian, Times, Daily Mail, Observer, New York Times, and Harpers Bazaar, and has featured on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

Winterson holds an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). She is Professor of New Writing at the University of Manchester. She believes that art is for everyone and it is her mission to prove it.

Passionate about art, Winterson believes that the best hope for humanity is imagination --whatever we invent, we must have the vision to use it well.

Listen to her TED talk 'Is humanity smart enough to survive itself' here