Art & Lies

Publisher: Vintage Canada
'There is no such thing as autobiography, there is only art and lies'. Set in a London of the near future, its three principal characters, Handel, Picasso and Sappho, separately flee the city and find themselves on the same train, drawn to one another through the curious agency of a book. Stories within stories take us through the unlikely love affairs of one Doll Sneerpiece, an 18th century bawd, and into the world of painful beauty where language has the power to heal. Art & Lies is a question and a quest: How shall I live?


The man lay with his head propped on the book. The back of his skull felt hot, not hot and sticky as his forehead did, but as though his head had been packed with embers. There were ashes in his mouth.

He opened his eyes and saw the neutral roof of the train. He breathed consciously, hating the flat air, and it...
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"Winterson's most ambitious work...beautiful writing, shaped line by line into word sculptures....I salute Winterson's skill at word-turning and word-spinning, her ability to mint shining images in a few golden lines." The Independent on Sunday, U.K.

"Several leaps forward in sophistication and technique from The Passion, which won the 1987 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize...a smooth-running...piece of machinery, which throws out... brilliant sparks." The Gazette

"Dazzling...truly exciting to read." The Times, (UK)

"Powerful." The Toronto Sun

"Winterson soars with Art and Lies." The Calgary Herald

"Expands the gender game...hurtles along so breathtakingly.... Intriguing.... Profound." Now magazine

"If words were diamonds and sentences necklaces, Jeanette Winterson would be the De Beers of literature." Entertainment Weekly