Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press


A Love Story

by Jeanette Winterson

From internationally bestselling icon Jeanette Winterson comes her most highly anticipated new book since Why Be Happy When You Could be Normal?, about the bodies we live in and the bodies we desire

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 384
  • Publication Date September 22, 2020
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4939-8
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $17.00
  • Imprint Grove Hardcover
  • Page Count 352
  • Publication Date October 01, 2019
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2949-9
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $27.00
  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Publication Date October 01, 2019
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2950-5
  • US List Price $27.00

Since her astonishing debut at twenty-five with Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson has achieved worldwide critical and commercial success as “one of the most daring and inventive writers of our time” (Elle). Her new novel, Frankissstein, is an audacious love story that weaves together disparate lives into an exploration of transhumanism, artificial intelligence, and queer love.

Lake Geneva, 1816. Nineteen-year-old Mary Shelley is inspired to write a story about a scientist who creates a new life-form. In Brexit Britain, a young transgender doctor called Ry is falling in love with Victor Stein, a celebrated professor leading the public debate around AI and carrying out some experiments of his own in a vast underground network of tunnels. Meanwhile, Ron Lord, just divorced and living with his mom again, is set to make his fortune launching a new generation of sex dolls for lonely men everywhere. Across the Atlantic, in Phoenix, Arizona, a cryogenics facility houses dozens of bodies of men and women who are medically and legally dead… but waiting to return to life.

What will happen when homo sapiens is no longer the smartest being on the planet? In fiercely intelligent prose, Jeanette Winterson shows us how much closer we are to that future than we realize. Funny and furious, bold and clear-sighted, Frankissstein is a love story about life itself.

Tags Literary

Praise for Frankissstein:

A Best Book of 2019 at Library Journal, Hudson Booksellers, and Publishers Weekly
One of BookMarks’ Best-Reviewed SciFi and Fantasy Books of 2019

“This novel is talky, smart, anarchic and quite sexy. You begin to linger on those three s’s when you speak the title aloud.”—Dwight Garner, New York Times

“Winterson has stitched together that rarest of beasts: a novel that is both deeply thought-provoking and provocative yet also unabashedly entertaining (I laughed out loud more times than I could count). Frankissstein, like its protagonist Ry, is a hybrid: a novel that defies conventional expectations and exists, brilliantly and defiantly, on its own terms.”—Sarah Lotz, New York Times Book Review

“A brainy, batty story — an unholy amalgamation of scholarship and comedy. [Winterson] manages to pay homage to Shelley’s insight and passion while demonstrating her own extraordinary creativity… This is no work of conventional literary history. It’s just a jump to the left… The dialogue is slick and funny, often delightfully obscene, but beneath all the kookiness, Winterson is satirizing sexual politics and exploring complicated issues of human desire… A bag of provocative tricks and treats. With diabolical ingenuity, [Winterson’s] found a way to inject fresh questions about humanity’s future into the old veins of Frankenstein.”—Ron Charles, Washington Post

“A riotous reimagining with an energy and passion all of its own that reanimates Frankenstein as a cautionary tale for a contemporary moment dominated by debates about Brexit, gender, artificial intelligence and medical experimentation… While the story has a gripping momentum of its own, it also fizzes with ideas.”—Financial Times

Frankissstein is intellectually bracing and sexually explicit; a historical literary romp and a futuristic thriller. It, like its characters, rejects the binary.”—Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times

“Spellbinding… artfully structured, unexpectedly funny, and impressively dynamic.”—Elena Sheppard, Los Angeles Review of Books

“A surge of inventiveness… Frankissstein is a book that seeks to shift our perspective on humanity and the purpose of being human in the most darkly entertaining way… gloriously well observed.”—Observer

“Winterson reboots Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for the 21st Century, launching us into a hold-on-to-your-hat modern-day horror story about very modern-day neuroses and issues.”—BBC News

“Intelligcent and inventive… Frankissstein is very funny. There has always been a fine line between horror and high camp, and this is a boundary that Winterson gleefully exploits.”—The Times

“Devilishly scintillating and quite touching… buy and adore this astute, wildly inventive and totally unique book.”—Alexis Burling, San Francisco Chronicle

“A timeless writer… [Frankissstein is] brisk, romantic, sharp-humored.”Angela Watercutter, Wired

“Refreshingly, Jeanette Winterson’s Frankissstein… is a wildly inventive reimagining of one of science fiction’s most beloved stories… lyrical, gloriously raunchy, pulpy and absurd.”—New Scientist

“A clever comic romp that teases at the nature—and future—of life, death and what it is to be human, without ever being ponderous… [Frankissstein is] first-rate.”—Daily Mail

“Readers are in deft hands… I can think of no better guide to our transforming world that Winterson.”—Prospect

“Funny and philosophical… This is a love story about life itself from a gifted writer.”—Psychologies

“Yes, the book we have all been waiting for. Yes, everything Winterson has always done so well. Yes, above and beyond anything that is yet to be written.”—Daisy Johnson

“Hilarious but serious time-travel gambol with Frankenstein: modern doubles into AI, cryogenics, and sexbots. (Hint: Mod. Byron does not come out of it well.)”—Margaret Atwood

“Jeanette Winterson’s latest novel, Frankissstein, is absolutely exhilarating. It examines immortality and science’s ethical obligations through the alternating narratives of two people living centuries apart: Frankenstein author Mary Shelley and Ry, a transgender medical doctor interested in cryogenics. Winterson’s characters wrestle with the profound questions of what it means to be alive, how the brain could survive outside of its mortal body, and whether the soul would be reborn in a reanimated mind. What makes the novel extraordinary is the humanity, hubris and moral self-doubts of Winterson’s complex and wonderfully rendered actors. At turns irreverently funny and deeply sad, Winterson has created her own beautiful monster — a masterful, spine-tingling tale that is unforgettable.”—Lori Feathers, Interabang Books (Dallas)

“In her new novel, Frankissstein, Jeanette Winterson asks age-old questions: Are we our bodies or our minds, neither or both? Through this fractured tale of multiple narratives Mary Shelley’s creation Victor Frankenstein emerges again into a post-Internet world, his dream of creating life from death even closer to his grasp. Winterson contemplates the same conundrum as Shelley: can a machine really replace a human? Can a human creation duplicate the power of the human mind? Frankissstein is a tour de force.”—Kelly Barth, The Raven Book Store (Lawrence, KS)

“Jeanette Winterson’s Frankissstein is a work of absolute genius. Weaving together chapters that narrate events on the shores of Lake Geneva as Mary Shelley develops and writes Frankenstein with chapters about Ry, a transgender man working for a cryogenics company who meets and falls for Victor Stein, a man obsessed with artificial intelligence and prolonging the life of the mind, Winterson plays with questions fundamental to who we are as thinking individuals and where we may be going as we attempt to move toward the next stage of our possible evolution. There is so much at play in this novel, so many moving parts that blend seamlessly to create something truly impressive.”—Anna Eklund, University Book Store (Seattle, WA)

“Audacious, funny, and unsettling, Winterson upends Mary Shelley’s classic novel by imaging a Dr. Frankenstein for the twenty-first century, asking, What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to love? And what happens when the Created meets their Creator? You will be amazed by the answers Winterson provides.”—Keith Glaeske, East City Bookshop (Washington, DC)

“Jeanette Winterson bends space, time and minds in this wickedly funny and provocative new book. Can state-of-the-art silicone-coated companions simulate human intimacy? Are body and soul, mortality and meaning inextricable? If we are indeed stepping into the incorporeal infinite — where will love live? So sharp and stunning and perfectly timed, this book is a must-read manual for our present moment grown from that old chestnut, ‘what does it mean to be human?’”—Lara Kaminoff, The Elliott Bay Book Company (Seattle, WA)

Praise for Christmas Days

“Nowhere is [Winterson’s] faith in the transporting power of storytelling more on display … dark, otherworldly and (trademark Winterson) wickedly funny.”—New York Times Book Review

“Brilliant … [a] delightful little book.”—Washington Post

“A feast of stories …Winterson has wrapped up a holiday present between two covers.”—NPR

Praise for Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

“Arresting and suspenseful … Offers literary surprises and flashes of magnificent generosity and humor.”—Washington Post Book World

“Winterson writes with heartrending precision … Ferociously funny and unfathomably generous, Winterson’s exorcism-in-writing is an unforgettable quest for belonging … A magnificent tour-de-force.”—Vogue

“One of the most entertaining and moving memoirs in recent memory… A marvelous gift of consolation and wisdom.”—Boston Globe

“[Winterson is] searingly honest yet effortlessly lithe as she slides between forms, exuberant and unerring, demanding emotional and intellectual expansion of herself and of us.”—Elle


Naming is power, I say to Claire.

It sure is. Adam’s task in the Garden of Eden.

Yes, indeed, to name everything after its kind.

Sexbot . . .

Pardon me, sir?

Do you think Adam would have thought of that? Dog, cat, snake, figtree, sexbot?

I am thankful he didn’t have to, Dr Shelley.

Yes, I am sure you are right. So tell me, Claire, why did they call this place Memphis?

You mean back in 1819? When it was founded?

As she speaks I see in my mind a young woman looking out of a sodden window across the lake.

I say to Claire, Yes. 1819. Frankenstein was a year old.

She frowns. I am not following you, sir.

The novel Frankenstein — it was published in 1818.

The guy with the bolt through his neck?

More or less . . .

I saw the TV show.

It’s why we are here today. (There was a look of confusion on Claire’s face as I said this, so I explained.) I don’t mean existentially Why We Are Here Today – I mean why the Tec-X-Po is here. In Memphis. It’s the kind of thing organisers like; a tie-in between a city and an idea. Memphis and Frankenstein are both two hundred years old.

Your point, Dr Shelley?

Tech. AI. Artificial Intelligence. Frankenstein was a vision of how life might be created – the first non-human intelligence.