Accrington author Jeanette Winterson has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The former Accrington and Rossendale College pupil has received the honour for services to literature and hopes it will help boost women’s ‘visibility’ in the arts.
In a statement, Winterson said: “I am so happy about the CBE, for myself of course, but because the arts are so important in our world.
“They are a means of connection and a way of reducing chaos.
“By that I mean that life always feels like an emergency zone and the time we spend with a book or a poem or making time to look at a picture or go to the theatre is not just time for ourselves, though it is that, it is claiming a different kind of order in our lives. Balance, curiosity, reflection, creativity.
“Also, I hope this honour helps with the visibility of women’s contribution to the arts. We are still holding up half the sky.”
Winterson, 58, was born in Manchester and brought up in Accrington.
Her first novel, the semi-autobiographical Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, was published in 1985 when she was just 25.
She had fallen in love with another girl and left home aged 16 - a story that would inspire her to write the book.
The novel became a Bafta award-winning BBC drama for its portrayal of a lesbian love affair.
Winterson’s other works have included The Passion, Sexing The Cherry, Written On The Body, Art & Lies, Art Objects and Gut Symmetries.
She was made an OBE in 2006.