Jeanette Winterson on why we need the imaginative life

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Jeanette Winterson

The arts aren’t a luxury activity. They are central to life. Art is the part of us that is met, and that can't be met in the outside world.

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Life has an inside as well as an outside, and everything in this crazy modern world is focused on the outside, because you’ve got to go to work, pay the bills, watch the TV news – all of that. But what happens to the dreaming world, to the imaginative world, to those parts of us that need a response and need a recognition that we can't have simply by living always at face value? That's important – the imaginative life really matters.

About the author

Jeanette Winterson, OBE is an award-winning English ​novelist, essayist, poet and children's writer. Her books include Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit , Written on the Body and Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?