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What the **** is Normal? by Francesca Martinez

What the **** is Normal?

Biography / Autobiography   eBook Favourites   

Sue Baker's view...

Disability rights campaigner, actress and comedian, Francesca Martinez is not one to take a back seat, her cerebral palsy is a disability that’s confronted head on. And as she asks in the title what is normal, is anyone “normal”? going on to describe what it is like to grow-up disabled in a world obsessed with size 8 perfection.

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Who is Sue Baker


What the **** is Normal? by Francesca Martinez

'After a very happy childhood, I strode into high school as a wobbly, fashion-deprived teenager and was promptly transformed into an unhappy, insecure wreck who desperately wanted to be seen as normal by my bitchy classmates. Five years on Grange Hill, one stand-up-comedy workshop and a passionate love affair later, I finally realised I had the power to stop judging myself by society's standards and create my own.' What do you do when you're labelled abnormal in a world obsessed with normality? If you grow up in a world where wrinkles are practically illegal, cellulite is cause for a mental breakdown and women over a size ten are encouraged to shoot themselves (immediately), what the **** do you do if you're, gasp, disabled? When Francesca was two years old, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Her parents were told by a consultant that she would never lead a normal life. For many girls, this would have meant hiding away and accepting some things were beyond their reach. Not this girl. What the **** is Normal? is personal, funny and insightful, and explores just how bloody hard it is to learn to like yourself - wobbly or not - in this world. It's Francesca's attempt to stick two shaky fingers up to the superficial values around her by refusing to be labelled abnormal, normal, or anything other than Francesca. After all, she's never even met a normal person. Have you?


'Her observations and perspective are unique and powerful. This is a funny, compassionate and inspiring story of how 'being different can become, with the right attitude, an unlikely advantage. Also, it 's bloody funny and touching' Russell Brand

'A cheerful optimistic belly-laugh broadside at prejudice and a wonderful testament to the power of being funny, I love Francesca Martinez' - Steve Coogan

A wonderful read! Warm, funny and unforgettable - Jonathan Ross

About the Author

Multi-award-winning Francesca Martinez is the first and only woman to win the Open Mic Award at the Edinburgh Festival, and has since become one of the top comedians of her generation. As well as touring internationally with sell-out runs around the world, Francesca is a TV and radio regular, making popular appearances on such varied programmes as The News Quiz, Russell Howard's Good News, The Jonathan Ross Show, The Frank Skinner Show, Ricky Gervais's Extras (in a role written specially for her), Newsnight, This Week, Free Speech (where she was voted most popular guest) and Channel 4 News. Currently, Francesca is in the middle of a 55-date UK/Ireland tour of her award-winning show, also called 'WHAT THE **** IS NORMAL?!', which has just been nominated for Best Show at Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival 2013 - the UK's largest comedy festival.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Francesca Martinez

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