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Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (2011)

by Jeanette Winterson

Other authors: T. S. Eliot (Author), Anne Sexton (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,0831027,619 (4.06)274
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."
  1. 72
    Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson (Anonymous user)
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    Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron (librorumamans)
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    Adoption Papers by Jackie Kay (thorold)
    thorold: Scottish poet vs. Lancashire novelist in a race to discover their biological parents...
  4. 00
    Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Both writers survive fundamentalist childhoods and difficult young adulthoods to attain a measure of serenity in middle age.
  5. 00
    Ghost Waltz: A Family Memoir by Ingeborg Day (sparemethecensor)
    sparemethecensor: Different subject matter but similar nonlinear styles and reflective prose.
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    KayCliff: Both books feature a lonely, gay child growing up, finding salvation in books.

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» See also 274 mentions

English (93)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  All languages (102)
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
  AnkaraLibrary | Feb 23, 2024 |
Marvelous memoir of a difficult upbringing. Books saved her, and it shows. ( )
  fmclellan | Jan 23, 2024 |
I have a new favorite lesbian writer. ( )
  JRobinW | Jan 20, 2023 |
Both the book and Winterson's "performance" of reading it are brilliant. I felt as if she were sitting next to me in the car telling me her story. It's the story of her growing up and then more recent years...skipping some time in the middle of her life. If you've read Oranges you'll enjoyed this very much, but even if you've never read a word of Winterson's writing this is an excellent memoir about mothers--adopted, biological, chosen--and daughters, about learning how to live in the world, about claiming your life. But it's not just about mothers and daughters so don't be put off. And its certainly not about mothers and daughters in any sappy kind of way, but in the raw grittiness of how things are or can be. It's about Winterson's life, her desire to write, her reading, English literature, industrial northern England, going mad, finding love, etc. The only draw-back to listening to this rather than reading it is that I couldn't underline the poignant moments, the bits of philosophy or beautiful sentences that I'd like to go back to and appreciate. I plan on reading the book in the future so I can do just that. ( )
  Chris.Wolak | Oct 13, 2022 |
my intro to her fabulous writing ( )
  Overgaard | Sep 19, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (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)

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeanette Wintersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Eliot, T. S.Authorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sexton, AnneAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Polman, MaartenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my three mothers:
Constance Winterson
Ruth Rendell
Ann S
First words
When my mother was angry with me, which was often, she said, 'The Devil led us to the wrong crib.'
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.

Me he dado cuénta de que hacer lo más inteligente solo es una buena idea cuando se trata de decisiones pequeñas. Para las cosas que te cambian la vida hay que arriesgarse.
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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."

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