ailed in the Washington Post as "one of our most important writers in English, " Jeanette Winterson has firmly established her reputation as an extraordinarily daring and original novelist. In Gut Symmetries, lives and universes run parallel in a complex contemporary love story set in New York and Liverpool, and aboard the QE2.
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Physics seems to have become the new language of love in the 1990s, and Jeanette Winterson is not the first writer to make a major character a physicist. Jonathan Lethem mined similar territory earlier this year in his delightful book, As She Climbed Across the Table, and now Winterson enters the lists with not one, but two physicists populating the pages of her equally wonderful book, Gut Symmetries. If you think about it, physics does make a good metaphor for love, encompassing as it does the principles of attraction, the exchange of energy, and unification. At the center of this meditation on "the intelligence of the universe" and "the stupidity of humankind" are Jove, a married physicist; Alice, a single physicist who becomes his mistress; and Stella, Jove's wife and later, Alice's lover. They meet on the QE2 and from there the three participants in the story take turns telling their versions of it.
Gut Symmetries is a collage of memories, snippets of scientific theory, meditations on abstract concepts like truth, and the events surrounding Jove, Alice, and Stella's affair. This is a book that demands your attention, jumping as it does from one seemingly tangential topic to another; but whereas physics still seeks a grand unification theory (GUT) to explain how everything in the universe fits together, Winterson actually finds one of her own in this satisfyingly complete fictional world.From the Back Cover:
"Brilliant ... [ Gut Symmetries] scintillates with a language live enough to carry a wild musing on the largest issues of our existence." — The Globe and Mail
"Beyond comparison.... Few writers can contend with Jeanette Winterson.... She writes like a demon drunk with love, and if there's a sentence in Gut Symmetries that doesn't startle readers with its bravery and wit, then they're not reading hard enough." — The Chronicle-Journal
"Fascinating, provocative.... Jeanette Winterson proves she is as literarily nimble as she is intellectually stimulating." — The Montreal Gazette
"Riveting ... [Winterson] expresses the range of the human soul with startling ingenuity." — The Vancouver Sun
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