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Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

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Description

Jeanette Winterson’s novels have establishing 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.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 24, 2011 – “What would it have meant to be happy? What would it have meant if things had been bright, clear, good between us?” Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit) asks of her relationship with her adoptive mother, questions that haunt this raw memoir to its final pages. Winterson first finds solace in the Accrington Public Library in Lancashire, where she stumbles across T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral and begins to cry: “the unfamiliar and beautiful play made things bearable that day.” She is asked to leave the library for crying and sits on the steps in “the usual northern gale” to finish the book. The rest is history. Highly improbably for a woman of her class, she gets into Oxford and goes on to have a very successful literary career. But she finds that literature—and literary success—can only fulfill so much in her. There’s another ingredient missing: love. The latter part of the book concerns itself with this quest, in which Winterson learns that the problem is not so much being gay (for which her mother tells her “you’ll be in Hell”) as it is in the complex nature of how to love anyone when one has only known perverse love as a child. This is a highly unusual, scrupulously honest, and endearing memoir.

Customer Reviews

Moving

I was fortunate enough to have received this book from my librarian wife. I was touched by the bravery and sheer tenacity of this author. I can't wait to read her other works. A rare jewel this one!

A good perspective

This was a good book; gave me a unique perspective on how life must have been growing up with a religious nut as a mother. My experience was so different, I have trouble believing someone could be so cruel to a child but then again, maybe not so unbelievable. We are all searching for our truth and history and that's exactly where the author takes us, with her in her journey to find herself; her truth, and history.

Memoir

Good read, as always. Her craft is a big gentle hand despite the difficult circumstances in this memoir. She handles words well.

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Mar 06, 2012
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 224 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings