Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Jeanette Winterson

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Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal 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 Jeanette Winterson s novels have established

  • Title: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
  • Author: Jeanette Winterson
  • ISBN: 9780307401243
  • Page: 472
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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.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, OraWitty, 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.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.

    • ✓ Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? || ↠ PDF Read by ☆ Jeanette Winterson
      472 Jeanette Winterson
    • thumbnail Title: ✓ Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? || ↠ PDF Read by ☆ Jeanette Winterson
      Posted by:Jeanette Winterson
      Published :2018-05-03T07:40:57+00:00

    One thought on “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

    1. Bookdragon Sean on said:

      Books mean a great deal to me. Are you surprised to hear me say this? I think not. As a consequence, I really enjoy reading books about people who really enjoy books. It’s just how these things work. And Jeanette Winterson really, really, likes books. When she had nothing, she always had her books: they gave her courage and strength. This is a book for those that love reading and writing; this is a book for those that understand why someone would spend their entire life doing such things: it i [...]

    2. Cecily on said:

      Beautifully written, engrossing, and suffused with a love of the saving power of literature. This is the truer, grittier, more analytical version of Oranges are Not the Only Fruit (my review HERE), with an update of Winterson's very recent attempts to trace her birth mother, and interspersed with thoughts on words, writing, literature and a dash of politics of family, class, feminism and sexuality. It is better if you are familiar with Oranges, but not essential. There also seem to be significan [...]

    3. Petra X on said:

      If you read Oranges are Not the Only Fruit then this just reads like an early version before the editor said to the author, "You can't write that, no one will believe you." The cliché goes that truth is stranger than fiction and this book is definitely stranger than Oranges. It is hard, for instance, to believe that the author, as an adult, never addressed her mother as anything but Mrs. Winterson.Small personal anecdote that has nothing whatsoever to do with the book other than it's a bit abou [...]

    4. Moira Russell on said:

      This book came in the mail today, I opened the package, opened the book and looked at a few pages randomly, started reading, and about half an hour later turned back to the beginning so I could start reading it properly. That's as good a star ranking as anything, I think. This book isn't really a memoir, (but then again, if you expect linear storytelling from Jeanette Winterson.): it skips twenty-five years of her life in an "Intermission" and the end is so open-ended a great breeze might come t [...]

    5. Oriana on said:

      I finished this book on a frigid Sunday afternoon, lying lazily on my too-deep couch, covered in a ridiculously soft blanket, with my boyfriend cackling in the other room while watching "news fails" on YouTube and my little dog curled up by my side, lending me his warmth. I have had such an easy life, it is sometimes difficult to fathom.Jeanette Winterson has not had an easy life. Or anyway she had an almost impossibly surreal / awful childhood (adopted by a frighteningly inconsistent and extrem [...]

    6. jo on said:

      this book is a broken elegy to the north of england and a world of small shops, small communities, and simple habits that no longer exists. it's also a tribute to a hardy working class people who knows resilience, pluckiness, no-nonsensicality, and making a life out of what you are given. surprisingly, it's a vindication of the values of faith, which keep people under the direst circumstances out of the clutches of despair and of the feeling of being trapped. these are winterson's words. this tr [...]

    7. Paul Bryant on said:

      This is about a girl who was adopted by a religious lunatic and who realised she was a lesbian.Yes.Uh oh.It's a squirmy, maddening, elusive, full-frontal, raging, psychonewagebabbly, moving, heartfelt, essential memoir. I was going to be cute and say that in 1969 The Beatles decided to release an album on which there were no overdubs, no studio tricks at all, but the resulting album Let It Be broke its own rule by containing overdubbed strings & harps & choruses; so many years later Paul [...]

    8. Saleh MoonWalker on said:

      Onvan : Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? - Nevisande : Jeanette Winterson - ISBN : 307401243 - ISBN13 : 9780307401243 - Dar 230 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2011

    9. Iris P on said:

      I usually don't read lots of memoirs and biographies, in general I prefer fiction or non-fiction, but I must say thought that this is one of the most genuine and emotional memoirs I've ever read. Jeannette Winterson was born in Manchester, England, and grew up in Accrington, Lacarshire after being adopted by Constance and John William Winterson in the early 1960's.This book recounts her quest for her identity, origin, her (birth) mother and ultimately for love and acceptance.It's a different kin [...]

    10. Zanna on said:

      There is still a popular fantasy, long since disproved by both psychoanalysis and science, and never believed by any poet or mystic, that it is possible to have a thought without a feelingI might have expected the audacity of this book, but the humility startled me. I expected the old trauma, but the fresh wounds caught me off guard. I was reminded of What to Look for in Winter: A Memoir in Blindness which I didn't think much of at all; the trauma memoir is not a genre I get along with. I love t [...]

    11. Sophie Carlon on said:

      Read this if you want your heart broken. Read this if you need it healed.

    12. Jennifer on said:

      Review by Zoe Williams, The Guardian - she says perfectly exactly how I felt about this memoir. "Jeanette Winterson's memoir is written sparsely and hurriedly; it is sometimes so terse it's almost in note form. The impression this gives is not of sloppiness, but a desperate urgency to make the reader understand. 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. In the end, the emotional force of the second [...]

    13. Fiona on said:

      When Jeanette Winterson tried to tell her adoptive mother, always in this autobiography referred to as Mrs Winterson, that she loved her girlfriend, that she made her happy, Mrs W’s response was ‘Why be happy when you could be normal?’This book has lain on my bookshelves unread for years. I don’t know why except that, possibly, it’s because I have never managed to engage with JW’s fiction, with the exception of Oranges, the book that she hates to be defined by. I don’t think you ha [...]

    14. ·Karen· on said:

      What a fierce child young Jeanette must have been. A small warrior, blazing with desire for life, battling the sheer bloody awfulness of her upbringing and the narrowness of her surroundings, protecting herself from further rejection by preventive strike. Spiky. **********************************SPOILERS!!**********************************The first half of this book feels raw; but this can only be the illusion created by the rough language, the short sentences, the baldness, the bleakness of her [...]

    15. Maciek on said:

      I haven't read anything by Jeanette Winterson before, and I had no idea that Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? was her memoir - the non-fiction counterpart to her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. Having read it I think it was a great introduction to her person and writing, and would like to read more of her work.Why Be Happy begins with Jeanette being raised in the small English town of Accrington in the 1960's, and focuses on her relationship with her adoptive mother, Mrs. Wint [...]

    16. Fionnuala on said:

      There are some authors who are continually writing and rewriting the same story, continually sanding down the same hard facts, continually polishing the remainder until they arrive at the final version when it has the perfectly smooth shape of an egg, newly laid. And at whatever angle you choose to view that egg, it remains perfect, impossible to add to or take away from. I'm thinking here of John McGahern in particular, who worked on the hard facts of a lonely, repressed, religion dominated chi [...]

    17. Melissa on said:

      It pains me to give Jeanette Winterson's memoir a poor review. It pained me so much more to read this book. This, from a writer who is absolutely without peer in storytelling, language and the details of excruciating heartbreak. To be fair, I did really enjoy the first 2/3 of the book. She writes in a frank and conversational style describing her early life and referencing her early books. I recognized her voice immediately and I settled in, catching up with an old friend. Unfortunately as her s [...]

    18. Debbie "DJ" on said:

      This is my first experience reading Jeanette Winterson. WOW! I love her style of writing. This felt like a conversational memoir. Like the author was speaking directly to me about her life. The book starts with her early life, being adopted, living with her adopted mother, who is not only a religious nut, but abusive, and tells Jeanette she is from the wrong crib. This is her journey out of this life, where loving books from an early age, she talks about reading English Lit from A - Z. I was ama [...]

    19. Ilenia Zodiaco on said:

      Peccato per il quid non necessario di retorica di cui la Winterson si serve per interi paragrafi, suonando un po' troppo banale, per i miei gusti. L'uso eccessivo della prima persona plurale e qualche frase che sembra uscita direttamente dai manuali di autoaiuto non sono, però, bastati a rovinare un'autobiografia sviluppata in maniera non lineare, intermittente, con ironia e audacia. Il rapporto con la madre labirintica e vendicativa è la chiave che l'autrice usa per analizzare la sua storia e [...]

    20. James Barker on said:

      After a couple of rocky years I am back in love with Jeanette Winterson. Opening this book was a return to the universe of 'Oranges are Not the Only Fruit,' (albeit a parallel one, although as always the line between the author's fantasy and fact are blurred), a place made insular by a domineering, lonely mother and a religious community on the fringes of a bleak northern town.How easy it is for parents to fuck up: to project on to their children, to over-compensate in love or despair, to long f [...]

    21. Joan on said:

      Very funny and well written. First Person. British novelist who is adopted by working-class evangelical parents who never loved her.

    22. Raquel on said:

      ¡La he leído casi del tirón! Me apetecía leer algo optimista, esperanzador, y este libro autobiográfico de Jeanette era perfecto para ese momento. La autora es magnífica narrando. Ya la conocía por «Espejismos» así que su talento narrativo no me ha pillado por sorpresa (a Winterson se la ama o se la odia, no deja indiferente y yo soy de las primeras). Lo que sí me ha sorprendido ha sido ese ritmo tan intenso. Maneja los tiempos maravillosamente, profundiza, cuenta lo que quiere contar [...]

    23. Judy on said:

      The title of this compulsively readable memoir is a direct quote from Jeanette Winterson's adoptive mother. Though I am sure my mother wanted me to be happy and certainly she was a good deal more sane than Mrs Winterson, the motherly quote felt like something that lurked behind my mom's parenting rationale.I've not read Jeanette Winterson's fiction. Her novels are on a list I never seem to get to; a list that includes Octavia Butler and early novels by Jane Smiley and Hilary Mantel. Like many vo [...]

    24. Megan Baxter on said:

      When a memoir starts with a title like that, it's apparent it's not going to be all sweetness and light. Particularly when it's fairly quickly on the table that it is Jeanette Winterson's adoptive mother who said the titular line. With that established, this is obviously not a slight read, slim though the book may be. But more importantly, I felt like it was interesting but not anything more than a fairly straightforward memoir until about halfway through - and then the book was elevated to anot [...]

    25. Krista on said:

      “When I am with her I am happy. Just happy.”She nodded. She seemed to understand and I thought, really, for that second, that she would change her mind, that we would talk, that we would be on the same side of the glass wall. I waited.She said, “Why be happy when you could be normal?”Right from the first lines of Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal, I had to recognise that I was in the hands of a master storyteller: Everything about Jeanette Winterson's voice and craft are engaging, th [...]

    26. Leseparatist on said:

      Na prawie, że sam koniec czerwcowego czytania na Pride, trafiłam na coś, co zupełnie mnie zaskoczyło. Bardzo lubię Jeanette Winterson od lat, choć były takie momenty, że mi się przejadała. Ale zapomniałam, jak bardzo potrafi do mnie trafiać. Może jednak przeczytanie tych kilkunastu powieści--niektórych więcej niż raz--na swój sposób mnie to zaprogramowało. Ta autobiograficzna historia najmocniejsza jest w opowiadaniu o traumach i radościach dorastania na angielskiej półno [...]

    27. Lydia on said:

      I listened to the audio book of this, read by Jeanette Winterson.Parts of this book spoke to me very deeply. There were parts that I found profoundly affecting. As if Winterson knew my life and the things that are happening in it, and was speaking directly to me. Not necessarily what you're meant to feel when reading an autobiography, but nonetheless, I felt it.This was an interesting insight into Jeanette Winterson's life. You truly felt like you knew her by the end. She laid her soul bare. I'l [...]

    28. Azumi on said:

      "Un libro es una alfombra mágica que te transporta volando a cualquier sitio. Un libro es una puerta. La abres. La cruzas. ¿Volverás?"Autobiografía muy sincera, muy humana y contada con mucha franqueza en la que la autora acepta lo que le ha tocado vivir y sabe que es la persona que es gracias a esas vivencias. Está llena de buenas reflexiones y de un gran amor por los libros.De todas maneras creo que si hubiera conocido de antemano a la autora y sus libros habría disfrutado más con la le [...]

    29. Cate on said:

      This isn't just a clever title. It's what Jeannette's adoptive mother says to her when Jeanette tells her mother that being with her girlfriend makes her happy.My favorite quote, "Books don't make a home- they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and a different kind of space."

    30. Janet on said:

      I prefer the fiction to the prose very hard to see the thing naked. I'm one of those people who would rather see what an artist does with the shattered self.

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