Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
A New York Times bestseller: The “magnificent” memoir by one of the bravest and most original writers of our time—“A tour de force of literature and love” (Vogue).
One of the New York Times’ “50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years”
Jeanette Winterson’s bold and revelatory novels have established her as a major figure in world literature. Her internationally best-selling debut, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, tells the story of a young girl adopted by Pentecostal parents, and has become a staple of required reading in contemporary fiction classes.
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is a “singular and electric” memoir about a life’s work to find happiness (The New York Times). It is a book full of stories: about a girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night; about a religious zealot disguised as a mother who has two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the dresser, waiting for Armageddon; about growing up in a north England industrial town now changed beyond recognition; about the universe as a cosmic dustbin. It is the story of how a painful past, rose to haunt the author later in life, sending her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her biological mother. It is also a book about the power of literature, showing how fiction and poetry can form a string of guiding lights, or a life raft that supports us when we are sinking.
Witty, acute, fierce, and celebratory, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is a tough-minded story of the search for belonging—for love, identity, home, and a mother.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - AJBraithwaite - LibraryThing
Such an interesting, funny-yet-harrowing read. Winterson's childhood was so sad and damaged, it's amazing that she was ever able to write anything. Or does a person need to have a traumatic past in order to become a fabulous writer? Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - amerynth - LibraryThing
I really loved Jeanette Winterson's semi-autobiographical novel "Oranges aren't the Only Fruit" so reading her memoir "Why be Happy When You Could Be Normal" seemed like a natural progression. It is ... Read full review