“Summer 1992. Her name is Lisa, and every weekday during that stolen time between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m., the end of my summer job workday and when I have to go home to my mother eating oranges, in sin and in secret I kiss my first love Lisa. I am a double agent. When I’m not with her, in my other life where I have to pretend that oranges are the only fruit, I secretly read and re-read pages of a book I found by cosmic accident, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, by Jeanette Winterson. The book’s sections are named after books in the Old Testament, and Oranges operates as my little orange Bible, telling me that I am not the only one who might have ‘Unnatural Passions’ for fruit other than oranges. The main character’s name is Jeanette, just like the name of the author. Because Jeanette has written my life and also has a strange mother, and because our names rhyme, I resolve that I too will one day write a book.”
Suzette Mayr’s most recent novel is Monoceros, winner of the ReLit and W. O. Mitchell Awards, and longlisted for the Giller Prize. She lives in Calgary.