Published in 1990, Sexing the Cherry is set in both seventeenth century and the book’s present time. But those are just the physical temporal context of the book. The book and its characters defies time and matter, location and reality. It plays with the idea of reality and history and explores the limitless realm of imagination. It begins in seventeenth century England, before the beheading of the king, where a humongous “ugly” woman discovers a child left on the river bed of Thames. Or rather her dogs discover him, who are an extended part of her identity.
Having forgotten her names years ago, and going by the moniker Dog Woman, she decides to give the child a river name, Jordon, and raises him along with her dogs. Like the river, Jordon too flows away, first through his imagination and later physically abandoning his adoptive mother in favour of adventures and distant exotic lands with their equally exotic fruits.
But unlike the journeys of Robinson Crusoe’s, Jordan doesn’t gives the readers journals filled with immaculate data, adventures in places that can be physically traced on the maps. Rather, his is the story of those journeys which are concealed inside the journeys like the secret messages written in letter with invisible ink. Journeys that questions the nature and existence of time, gender, and reality.
From Twelve Dancing Princesses to the tribes of faraway island, from the pollution of words sticking to the city of London to the fire that consumes it all, Sexing the Cherry engages with historicization and re-writing with a radically postmodern perception.