Why be Happy when You Could be Normal?

Front Cover
Vintage, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 230 pages
44 Reviews

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.

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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 (2012)

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.

Bibliographic information