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Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by…
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Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (original 2011; edition 2013)

by Jeanette Winterson (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,539847,053 (4.04)228
Member:Donna828
Title:Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
Authors:Jeanette Winterson (Author)
Info:Grove Press (2013), Edition: Reprint, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Memoir, Adoption, LGBT, Suicide, Read in 2018

Work details

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson (2011)

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» See also 228 mentions

English (78)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  All languages (84)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
Nobody should be so miserable. ( )
  abycats | May 11, 2018 |
A great memoir (of sorts) dealing with the idea of feeling displaced, the healing power of creativity, and figuring out the beneficial aspects of love, as well as learning to love in a new way. ( )
  Abbey_Harlow | Oct 5, 2017 |
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? ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Aug 14, 2017 |
My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Jun 9, 2017 |
When love is unreliable and you are a child, you assume that it is the nature of love - its quality - to be unreliable. Children do not find fault with their parents until later. In the beginning the love you get is the love that sets.

Out of context, the above is a so-so quote, the prose beautiful but the sentiment unoriginal. In context, in the context of an abusive childhood, adopted by a virulently religious psychopath, in the context of trying to find love after being raised in such a toxic environment which inevitably damages your perception of healthy relationships, Winterson will crush you with this quote and many more in this memoir-of-sorts.

Prerequisite reading: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.

Further readings: Woolf's Orlando and Gertrude Stein's Autobiography of Alice B Toklas. ( )
2 vote kitzyl | Feb 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
Where Winterson's debut, a tragic-comic tale of a young girl who is adopted by Pentecostal missionaries in Accrington, offered us a semi-fictionalised version of her childhood, her latest describes the reality. And what a hellish reality it was. Winterson's story is one of abandonment, loneliness, madness and defiance. It is both inspiring and appalling, its cruellest details only made digestible by the restrained elegance of Winterson's prose.
 
This is certainly the most moving book of Winterson's I have ever read, and it also feels like the most turbulent and the least controlled.
added by thorold | editThe Guardian, Zoe Williams (Nov 4, 2011)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeanette Wintersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Polman, MaartenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my three mothers:
Constance Winterson
Ruth Rendell
Ann S
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When my mother was angry with me, which was often, she said, 'The Devil led us to the wrong crib.'
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When love is unreliable and you are a child, you assume that it is the nature of love - its quality - to be unreliable. Children do not find fault with their parents until later. In the beginning the love you get is the love that sets.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This memoir is a tough-minded search for belonging, for love, an identity, a home, and a mother by the author of "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit"--winner of the Whitbread First Novel award and the inspiration behind the award-winning BBC television adaptation "Oranges."… (more)

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