Sexing the Cherry (1989) is a novel by Jeanette Winterson.
Set in 17th century London, Sexing the Cherry is about the journeys of a mother, known as The Dog Woman, and her protégé, Jordan. They journey in a space-time flux: across the seas to find exotic fruits such as bananas and pineapples; and across time, with glimpses of "the present" and references to Charles I of England and Oliver Cromwell. The mother’s physical appearance is somewhat "grotesque". She is a giant, wrapped in a skirt big enough to serve as a ship’s sail and strong enough to fling an elephant. She is also hideous, with smallpox scars in which fleas live, a flat nose and foul teeth. Her son, however, is proud of her, as no other mother can hold a good dozen oranges in her mouth all at once. Ultimately, their journey is a journey in search of The Self.
Sexing the Cherry features elements of magical realism and can be said to contribute to the promotion of the "Other" in the literary world.
Sexing the Cherry is a postmodernist work and features many examples of intertextuality. It also incorporates the fairy tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses.