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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.
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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 Inside Flap:
The highwire artist of the English novel redraws the romantic triangle for the post-Einsteinian universe, where gender is as elastic as matter, and any accurate Grand Unified Theory (GUT) must encompass desire alongside electromagnetism and gravity.
One starry night on a boat in the mid-Atlantic, Alice, a brilliant English theoretical physicist, begins an affair with Jove, her remorselessly seductive American counterpart. But Jove is married. When Alice confronts his wife, Stella, she swiftly falls in love with her, with consequences that are by turns horrifying, comic, and arousing. Vaulting from Liverpool to New York, from alchemy to string theory, and from the spirit to the flesh, Gut Symmetries is a thrillingly original novel by England's most flamboyantly gifted young writer.
"Winterson is unmatched among contemporary writers in her ability to conjure up new-world wonder...A beautiful, stirring and brilliant story."--Times Literary Supplement
"Dazzling for [its] intelligence and inventiveness...[Winterson] is possessed of a masterly command of the language and a truly pliant imagination."--Elle
"One of our most brilliant, visionary storytellers."--San Francisco Chronicle
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Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory # VFG-PEP-N97
Book Description Granta Books, 1998. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1862070423