Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Front Cover
Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated, Mar 6, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 230 pages
40 Reviews

Jeanette Winterson's novels have established her as a major figure in world literature. She has written some of the most admired books of the past few decades, including her internationally bestselling first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, the story of a young girl adopted by Pentecostal parents that is now often required reading in contemporary fiction.

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is a memoir about a life's work to find happiness. It's 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 an north England industrial town now changed beyond recognition; about the Universe as Cosmic Dustbin.

It is the story of how a painful past that Jeanette thought she'd written over and repainted rose to haunt her, sending her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her biological mother.

Witty, acute, fierce, and celebratory, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is a tough-minded search for belonging-for love, identity, home, and a mother.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
13
4 stars
15
3 stars
9
2 stars
2
1 star
1

Review: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

User Review  - Goodreads

I could quote half the book as an example of how amazing and thoughtful and brilliant she is. Sometimes I would just read a paragraph or a page and have to step back for a minute to absorb it. She's so good at capturing the duality of her life, her mother, everything. Read full review

Review: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

User Review  - Lareign - Goodreads

I could quote half the book as an example of how amazing and thoughtful and brilliant she is. Sometimes I would just read a paragraph or a page and have to step back for a minute to absorb it. She's so good at capturing the duality of her life, her mother, everything. Read full review

All 2 reviews »

About the author (2012)

Born in Manchester in 1959 and adopted into a firmly religious family, Jeanette Winterson put herself through higher education and studied at Oxford University. She is the author of numerous novels, including Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Sexing the Cherry, and The Passion. Winterson lives in Gloucestershire, UK.

Visit her website at jeanettewinterson.com

Bibliographic information