The Best Jeanette Winterson quotes

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Jeanette Winterson is a British novelist, essayist, and activist. She was born in 1959 in Accrington Lancashire to working-class parents. Her father worked for the local council and her mother was a housewife who became a cleaner after Jeanette’s birth. In 1961 they moved to Manchester where she attended Stretford Grammar School from 1967-1972. After finishing school she took up an apprenticeship with The Arndale Department Store before becoming one of its youngest buyers at age 22. At 23 she left to work as a freelance writer for The Guardian newspaper while freelancing as an arts journalist for The Observer magazine.

Discover the most known words from Jeanette Winterson.

Discover the most interesting Story, Work, Books, Love, Time, Life, World, Heart quotes from Jeanette Winterson, and much more.


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About Jeanette Winterson

birth of the author

27 August 1959

occupation of the author

Writer, Journalist, Professor At The University Of Manchester

country of the author


date of the author


genre of the author

Fiction, Children’s Fiction, Journalism, Science Fiction

award of the author

Notable Works:
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit


You said, ‘I love you.’ Why is it that the most unoriginal thing we can say to one another is still the thing we long to hear? โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I am not tempted by God but I love his trappings. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I never wanted children. If I’d been deeply in love with a man and he’d wanted children, it would have been difficult. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Love is an experiment … what happens next is always surprising. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

i am not tempted by god but i love his trappings Jeanette Winterson quote

In the presence of love, hearth and quest become one. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

What a strange world this is when you can have as much sex as you like but love is taboo. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

We live in a world of buy it or leave it. Love does not signify. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Love … Just Nature’s way of getting one person to pay the bills for another person. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Love is the one thing stronger than desire and the only proper reason to resist temptation. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

love is an experiment what happens next is always surprising Jeanette Winterson quote

We fear passion and laugh at too much love and those who love too much. And still we long to feel. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Why is the measure of love loss? โ€” Jeanette Winterson

What is more humiliating than finding the object of your love unworthy? โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I am a writer who happens to love women. I am not a lesbian who happens to write. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

The truth is that love smashes into your life like an ice floe, and even if your heart is built like the Titanic you go down. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

in the presence of love hearth and quest become one Jeanette Winterson quote

August. We were arguing. You want love to be like this every day don’t you? 92 degrees even in the shade. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Capacity for love in its higher forms seems to be peculiarly human although even in humans it is still peculiar. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Infatuation.first Love.Lust.My passion can be explained away.But this is sure: Whatever she touches, she reveals โ€” Jeanette Winterson

To me, these days will never end. I am always there, in that room with her, or if not I, the imprint of myselfโ€“my fossilโ€“love โ€” Jeanette Winterson


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Wherever love is, I want to be, I will follow it as surely as the landโ€“locked salmon finds the sea. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

we live in a world of buy it or leave it love does not signify Jeanette Winterson quote

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. What then kills love? Only this: Neglect. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

If we had the courage to love we would not so value these acts of war. โ€” Jeanette Winterson


Life is so simple when you’re just doing your job. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

We don’t go to Shakespeare to find out about life in Elizabethan England; we go to Shakespeare to find out about ourselves now. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Life has never been All or Nothingโ€“it’s All and Nothing. Forget the binaries. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

life is so simple when you re just doing your job Jeanette Winterson quote

The only selfish life is a timid one. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

In this life, you have to be your own hero. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

To me, life, for all its privations, is a luminous thing. You have to risk it. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Don’t regret your life, child, it will pass soon enough. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

We shall all die, and our lives will be irrelevant then. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

life has never been all or nothing it s all and nothing forget the binaries Jeanette Winterson quote

Life was a preโ€“death experience. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I have noticed that doing the sensible thing is only a good idea when the decision is quite small. For the lifeโ€“changing things, you must risk it. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I know I’ve had an unusual beginning and a colourful life, but that wouldn’t matter if I couldn’t make it speak to other people. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

What can i tell you about the choices we make? Fate reads like the polar opposite of decision, and so much of life reads like fate. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Are we all living like this? Two lives, the ideal outer life and the inner imaginative life where we keep our secrets? โ€” Jeanette Winterson

the only selfish life is a timid one Jeanette Winterson quote

I will do whatever I have to do to reach people with the things I believe are important. Life is too short not to do everything you can. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I like to think the price I paid by being open about my private life helped. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

One room is always enough for one person. Two rooms is not enough for two people. That is one of the conundrums in life. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Quest is at the heart of what I doโ€“the holy grail, and the terror that you’ll never find it, seemed a perfect metaphor for life. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I do not accept that life has an ordinary shape, or that there is anything ordinary about life at all. We make it ordinary, but it is not. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

in this life you have to be your own hero Jeanette Winterson quote

The rebellion of art is a daily rebellion against the state of living death routinely called real life. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Life gives you enough hard knocks so it’s unlikely you’ll stay that sure of yourself. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Whatever it is that pulls the pin, that hurls you past the boundaries of your own life into a brief and total beauty, even for a moment, it is enough. โ€” Jeanette Winterson


There’s no story that’s the start of itself. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Stories end in reverie, tragedy, or forgiveness. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

there s no story that s the start of itself Jeanette Winterson quote

I choose this story above all others because it’s a story I’m struggling to end. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

There are only three possible endingsโ€“aren’t there?โ€“to any story: revenge, tragedy or forgiveness. That’s it. All stories end like that. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Trust me, I’m telling you stories. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

We are told not to privilege one story above another. All the stories must be told. Well, maybe that’s true, maybe all stories are worth hearing, but not all stories are worth telling. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Tell me a story, Pew. What kind of story, child? A story with a happy ending. There’s no such thing in all the world. As a happy ending? As an ending. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

stories end in reverie tragedy or forgiveness Jeanette Winterson quote

Everyone who tells a story tells it differently, just to remind us that everybody sees it differently. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

True stories are the ones that lie open at the border, allowing a crossing, a further frontier. The final frontier is just science fictionโ€“โ€“don’t believe it. Like the universe, there is no end. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Part fact part fiction is what life is. And it is always a cover story. I wrote my way out. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Snow is covering us. Close your eyes and sleep. Close your eyes and dream. This is one story. There will be another. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

This is not a love story, but love is in it. That is, love is just outside it, looking for a way to break in. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

i choose this story above all others because it s a story i m struggling to end Jeanette Winterson quote

I keep telling this storyโ€“different people, different places, different timesโ€“but always you, always me, always this story, because a story is a tight rope between two worlds. โ€” Jeanette Winterson


Do it from the heart or not at all. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Islands are metaphors of the heart, no matter what poet says otherwise. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Hopeless heart that thrives on paradox; that longs for the beloved and is secretly relieved when the beloved is not there. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Love’s lengthways splits the heart in twoโ€“the heart where you are, the heart where you want to be. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

do it from the heart or not at all Jeanette Winterson quote

If you should leave me, my heart will turn to water and flood away. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Redundant Thematics

In Jeanette Winterson Statements


What should I do about the wild and the tame? The wild heart that wants to be free, and the tame heart that wants to come home. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

This hole in my heart is in the shape of you. No one else can fit it. Why would I want them to? โ€” Jeanette Winterson


Slightest accidents open up new worlds. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I think we are worlds compressed into human form. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

slightest accidents open up new worlds Jeanette Winterson quote

They say that every snowflake is different. If that were true, how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it? โ€” Jeanette Winterson

To be ill adjusted to a deranged world is not a breakdown. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

She was fragile, gentle, wide awake in a sleeping world. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I am getting much more political as I get older. It’s the duty of any writer, in particular, not to stand back from the world. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Only a poet could frame a language that could frame a world. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

i think we are worlds compressed into human form Jeanette Winterson quote

I write about sex because often it feels like the most important thing in the world. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I spin worlds where we could be together. I dream you. For me, imagination and desire are very close. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

The world is surely wide enough to walk without fear. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

There’s so little wonder left in the world because we’ve seen everything one way or another’. โ€” Jeanette Winterson


I am not interested in genres. I am interested in doing the best work I can in whatever medium. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

creative work is incredibly difficult and that is where the tests lie Jeanette Winterson quote

Unconditional love is what a child should expect from a parent even though it rarely works out that way. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Creative work is incredibly difficult, and that is where the tests lie. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Turn up for work. Discipline allows creative freedom. No discipline equals no freedom. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

You have to engage with people who are different from you and try to work with their thinking and their mind. That’s a real challenge. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

When it is time to get to work, I go away completely and don’t do anything except the work. And that can be 16 hours a day. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

the power of a text is not time bound the words go on doing their work Jeanette Winterson quote

When pieces of work speak to us in a way that feels as if they were made just for us, those become our private worlds that we return to. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

The work that lasts over time is the work which still speaks to us when all contemporary interest in that work is extinct. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I like to look at how people work together when they are put into stressful situations, when life stops being cozy. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

As a writer, if you’re prepared to work from your own wound, you’re allowing people into the most vulnerable parts of yourself. โ€” Jeanette Winterson


You’re never alone with a book, are you? It’s a dialogue. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

you re never alone with a book are you it s a dialogue Jeanette Winterson quote

In my subconscious, my books were part of a single emotional journey. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Books and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through into another world. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I’m always nervous about going home, just as I am nervous about rereading books that have meant a lot to me. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Quoting her mother: The trouble with a book is you never know what’s in it until it’s too late! โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I fell into the books, and left myself there for safekeeping. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

in my subconscious my books were part of a single emotional journey Jeanette Winterson quote

My books always begin with a sentence and an imageโ€“not necessarily connected. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Yes, the stories are dangerous, she was right. A book is a magic carpet that flies you off elsewhere. A book is a door. You open it. You step through. Do you come back? โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I believe in communication; books communicate ideas and make bridges between people. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Always in my books, I like to throw that rogue element into a stable situation and then see what happens. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

i fell into the books and left myself there for safekeeping Jeanette Winterson quote

Each book is a different staging post on the writer’s journey, and each book stands by itself, regardless of the writer’s relationship to it. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I live alone, with cats, books, pictures, fresh vegetables to cook, the garden, the hens to feed. โ€” Jeanette Winterson


Whoever it is you fall in love with for the first time, not just love but be in love with, is the one who will always make you angry, the one you can’t be logical about. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

It’s hard to remember that this day will never come again. That the time is now and the place is here and that there are no second chances at a single moment. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I knew it like destiny, and at the same time, I knew it as choice. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

i knew it like destiny and at the same time i knew it as choice Jeanette Winterson quote

The most prosaic of us betray a belief in the inward life every time we talk about ‘my body’ rather than ‘I. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

You were in my arms for the first time, and you said my name, ‘Tristan.’ I answered you: ‘Isolde.’ Isolde. The world became a word. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I have a theory that every time you make an important choice, the part of you left behind continues the other life you could have had. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

Mankind, I hazard, wherever found, Civilized or Savage, cannot keep to any purpose for much length of time, except the purpose of destroying himself. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

You never give away your heart; you lend it from time to time. If it were not so, how could we take it back without asking? โ€” Jeanette Winterson

what are you that makes me feel thus who are you for whom time has no meaning Jeanette Winterson quote

The body shuts down when it has too much to bear; goes its own way quietly inside, waiting for a better time, leaving you numb and half alive. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

What are you that makes me feel thus? Who are you for whom time has no meaning? โ€” Jeanette Winterson

I realised something important: whatever is on the outside can be taken away at any time. Only what is inside you is safe. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

When I fell in love it was as though I looked into a mirror for the first time and saw myself. โ€” Jeanette Winterson

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