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  • Published: 1 October 2015
  • ISBN: 9781473512085
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

The Gap of Time

The Winter's Tale Retold (Hogarth Shakespeare)

A story of love and jealousy, tragedy and forgiveness, a lost child and a found family

'A shining delight of a novel'
New York Times
'Clever and beautiful...it soars'
Financial Times

A baby girl is abandoned, banished from London to the storm-ravaged American city of New Bohemia. Her father has been driven mad by jealousy, her mother to exile by grief.

Seventeen years later, Perdita doesn't know a lot about who she is or where she's come from - but she's about to find out.

Jeanette Winterson's cover version of The Winter's Tale vibrates with echoes of Shakespeare's original and tells a story of hearts broken and hearts healed, a story of revenge and forgiveness, a story that shows that whatever is lost shall be found.

'Emotionally wrought and profoundly intelligent... A supremely clever, compelling and emotionally affecting novel that deserves multiple readings to appreciate its many layers'
Mail on Sunday
'There are passages here so concisely beautiful they give you goosebumps'
'Pulsates with such authenticity and imaginative generosity that I defy you not to engage with it'

  • Published: 1 October 2015
  • ISBN: 9781473512085
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

About the author

Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson CBE was born in Manchester. Adopted by Pentecostal parents she was raised to be a missionary. This did and didn’t work out.

Discovering early the power of books she left home at 16 to live in a Mini and get on with her education. After graduating from Oxford University she worked for a while in the theatre and published her first novel at 25. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is based on her own upbringing but using herself as a fictional character. She scripted the novel into a BAFTA-winning BBC drama. 27 years later she re-visited that material in the bestselling memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? She has written 10 novels for adults, as well as children’s books, non-fiction and screenplays. She is Professor of New Writing at the University of Manchester. She lives in the Cotswolds in a wood and in Spitalfields, London.

She believes that art is for everyone and it is her mission to prove it.

Also by Jeanette Winterson

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Praise for The Gap of Time

She makes us read on, our hearts in our mouths, to see how a twice-told story will turn out this time

Publishers Weekly

The intricacy with which Winterson has plotted her novel against each Shakespearean detail will delight readers familiar with the original … it’s part of a vision of a world in which past, present, and future are lived simultaneously, original and adaptation existing in the same moment.

The Times

A book of considerable beauty… Winterson’s fiction is a fine invitation into this deeply Shakespearean vision of imagination as the best kind of truth-telling

Rowan Williams, New Statesman

Winterson’s stage, like that of Shakespeare, is filled with wonders

Frances Wilson, Times Literary Supplement

Winterson is faithful to both the narrative and the spirit of the play, while transposing it to an utterly different and modern setting… There is lightness here, in the frisky prose and the author’s delight in invention, but you are never free of the awareness of dark shadows where danger and corruption lie in wait.

Allan Massie, Scotsman

Clever and beautiful...it soars

Financial Times

A deeply felt, emotionally intelligent and serious novel, which resists easy answers and yet expresses the hope that human beings can muddle through, and that bad pasts can have good outcomes... Pulsates with such authenticity and imaginative generosity that I defy you not to engage with it.

Andrew Dickson, Independent

The Winter’s Tale, one of the late, 'problem' plays, is about loss, remorse and forgiveness, and the nature of time. Winterson has captured all this with respect and affection for Shakespeare’s text, and made it new with her own bold and poetic prose and her insights into love and grief. There are passages here so concisely beautiful they give you goosebumps.

Lucasta Miller, Radar

Emotionally wrought and profoundly intelligent it will pull you into its troubled, wise world of jealousy, paranoia, grief, revenge and forgiveness in some of the most stunning prose you’ll read this year … Winterson masterfully interweaves layers of narrative and themes so that reading the novel is like listening to a Bach prelude and fugue … A supremely clever, compelling and emotionally affecting novel that deserves multiple readings to appreciate its many layers.

Hannah Beckerman, Mail on Sunday

Engrossing, almost soapily addictive


The book is the first of a major new series, in which well-known novelists give Shakespeare a modern twist, and Winterson rises to the challenge with some ingenious touches.

Max Davidson, Mail on Sunday



Smart and witty... Compelling, entertaining and elegant

Sarah Crown, Guardian

Moving, pacy... A clever book that explores themes of love, loss and forgiveness as parents screw up their children and do the unthinkable. A thrilling read.

Nicola Wilson, Irish News

There are passages here so concisely beautiful they give you goosebumps


One of the most gifted writers working today... A shining delight of a novel... Winterson's great gift is in capturing the emotional heft of her stories with sentences that hum along, beautiful, unexpected and swift. Winterson wrestles wonderfully with a perplexing text and emerges with a complicated, satisfying and contemporary tale that stands wholly on its own.

New York Times

With a few deft strokes Winterson creates Shakespeare’s characters in contemporary clothing keeping me in suspense throughout. It is a triumph and a good omen for this ambitious new project.

Daily Express

Reading Jeanette Winterson takes you to a place where words have power, and are capable of transforming people's lives.

Alex Klineberg, Huffington Post

[A] witty and funky adaptation

Woman's Way

Winterson largely and ingeniously stays faithful to Shakespeare’s magical realist plot… and captures the play’s quizzical, questioning, redemptive spirit while remaining impressively true to her own.

CA, four stars, Metro

Wonderfully imaginative

Juliet Nicholson, Evening Standard

Spins through an exhilarating array of genres. The sensational opening chapter enmeshes the reader in a rollercoaster ride of tragedy, comedy, thriller, fantasy, chicklit, plus a few pages of raunchy sex

David Fothergill, Guardian

The Gap of Time takes nothing away from The Winter's Tale. If anything it might add to it, or at least to its resonance and mystery. It is an impressive achievement, especially as Winterson manages the contradictions of comedy and tragedy in a way which suits both their modern likelihood and their moral implications

Mary Leland, Irish Examiner

A witty retelling.

Joanna Kavenna, Literary Review

Her new story retains the essence of Shakespeare, but filters his comedy and sentiment through feminism and technology.

The Culture Trip

Filled with her wit and seriously thought-provoking ideas, Winterson’s writing is a pleasure… This is a well told, beautiful, magical and wonderfully evocative story which resonates with our contemporary lives.

Eric Page, Gscene

Vibrates with echoes of Shakespeare’s original.



Sunday Times

There is a lovely, lilting cadence to the novel… Stylishly done…. Winterson manages against the odds to keep us gripped.

Sarah Crown, Guardian

Winterson is on sparkling form in this highly intelligent and daringly imaginative reworking of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale... Witty, clever and bold.

Mail on Sunday

Winterson is incapable of being dull, and The Gap Of Time is a fitting addition to her uniquely inventive catalogue.

Ellis O'Harrison, Irish Independent

She deftly captures all the magic and raw emotion of the original.

Irish Times

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