Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

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Random House, Oct 27, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 240 pages

The shocking, heart-breaking - and often very funny - true story behind Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.

In 1985 Jeanette Winterson's first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was published. It was Jeanette's version of the story of a terraced house in Accrington, an adopted child, and the thwarted giantess Mrs Winterson. It was a cover story, a painful past written over and repainted. It was a story of survival.

This book is that story's the silent twin. It is full of hurt and humour and a fierce love of life. It is about the pursuit of happiness, about lessons in love, the search for a mother and a journey into madness and out again. It is generous, honest and true.

‘Unforgettable... It’s the best book I have ever read about the cost of growing up’ Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times

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LibraryThing Review

User 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 Review

User 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

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About the author (2011)

Jeanette Winterson OBE was born in Manchester. Adopted by Pentecostal parents she was raised to be a missionary. This did and didn’t work out.

Discovering early the power of books she left home at 16 to live in a Mini and get on with her education. After graduating from Oxford University she worked for a while in the theatre and published her first novel at 25. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is based on her own upbringing but using herself as a fictional character. She scripted the novel into a BAFTA-winning BBC drama. 27 years later she re-visited that material in the bestselling memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? She has written 10 novels for adults, as well as children’s books, non-fiction and screenplays. She writes regularly for the Guardian. She lives in the Cotswolds in a wood and in Spitalfields, London.

She believes that art is for everyone and it is her mission to prove it.

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