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Gut Symmetries

Winterson, Jeanette

3,958 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0676971024 / ISBN 13: 9780676971026
Published by Random House of Canada, Limited, 1998
Used Condition: Good Soft cover
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Softcover. Sound & good copy, light to moderate rubbing/edgewear to wraps. Bookseller Inventory # 401533n

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Gut Symmetries

Publisher: Random House of Canada, Limited

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Trade Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title


A celebration of love in all its frailty, confusion and excess. Set on board the QE2, and in New York and Liverpool, Gut Symmetries explores parallel lives, loves and universes.


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.

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