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Shakespeare's story of loss and redemption, retold by Jeanette Winterson

‘I saw the strangest sight tonight.’


New Bohemia. America. A storm. A black man finds a white baby abandoned in the night. He gathers her up – light as a star – and decides to take her home.


London. England. After the financial crash. Leo Kaiser knows how to make money but he doesn’t know how to manage the jealousy he feels towards his best friend and his wife. Is the newborn baby even his?

New Bohemia. 17 years later. A boy and a girl are falling in love but there’s a lot they don’t know about who they are and where they come from.


Jeanette Winterson’s cover version of The Winter’s Tale vibrates with echoes of the original but tells a contemporary story where Time itself is a player in a game of high stakes that will either end in tragedy or forgiveness. It shows us that however far we have been separated, whatever is lost shall be found.

Reviews

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

Independent

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

Astonishing.

Elle

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

Observer

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

The Gap of Time is an ingenious retelling of The Winter’s Tale… [Winterston] 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… Perhaps most surprising is how readily the plot translates to a modern context; how plausible this version seems, for all its knowing self-reference.

Stephanie Merritt, Guardian

Those addicted to Shakespeare’s marvellous depiction of jealousy, guilt and teenage joie de vivre will be identifying and falling in love again with characters and their fateful lives… Plunge into The Gap of Time as a fresh, vibrant example of contemporary writing with an original, thought-provoking storyline… The Gap of Time is a top-quality novel.

Phillip Fisher, British Theatre Guide

Those addicted to Shakespeare’s marvellous depiction of jealousy, guilt and teenage joie de vivre will be identifying and falling in love again with characters and their fateful lives… Plunge into The Gap of Time as a fresh, vibrant example of contemporary writing with an original, thought-provoking storyline… The Gap of Time is a top-quality novel.

Phillip Fisher, British Theatre Guide

Stylish and accomplished.

Peter Carty, International Business Times

The Winter’s Tale meets House of Cards. Engrossing and ingenious, it deftly rewrites Shakespeare’s lamentation of destructive jealousy as an indictment of deregulated capitalism.

Peter Smith, Times Higher Education

Winterson charms with her playful translation of the cast from the courts of Sicily and Bohemia into our own quotidian life

Patricia Storace, The New York Review of Books

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

Irish Times

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9781781090305

    October 1, 2015

    Hogarth

    320 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
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    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Paperback

    9780099598190

    June 27, 2016

    Vintage

    320 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781473512085

    October 1, 2015

    Vintage Digital

    320 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo