Author Jeanette Winterson was honoured recently with the prestigious Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for her contribution to literature.

The author’s first book, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, which was of autobiographical nature, was published in 1985. At that time, Winterson was just 25. The widely appreciated novel later became a Bafta award-winning BBC drama for its portrayal of a lesbian love affair. In the novel, she talked about how she had fallen in love with another girl and left home aged 16. The novel proved to be a breakthrough for her.

Winterson was earlier honoured with Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in 2006. Her other works include The Passion, Sexing The Cherry, Written On The Body, Art & Lies, Art Objects and Gut Symmetries.

Visibility for women

The 58-year-old author was born in Manchester and brought up in Accrington. She is currently also a professor of New Writing at University of Manchester’s. After winning the award, she expressed hope that it would increase women’s ‘visibility’ in the arts.

In a statement, she said: “I am so happy about the CBE, for myself of course, but because the arts are so important in our world. They are a means of connection and a way of reducing chaos.”

“By that I mean that life always feels like an emergency zone and the time we spend with a book or a poem or making time to look at a picture or go to the theatre is not just time for ourselves, though it is that, it is claiming a different kind of order in our lives. Balance, curiosity, reflection, creativity. Also, I hope this honour helps with the visibility of women’s contribution to the arts. We are still holding up half the sky.”

Picture Credit: Getty

Read: Indian Female Authors Head To Mumbai for Women Writers Festival 2018

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