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Why be Happy When You Could be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
  

Why be Happy When You Could be Normal?

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Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 15 December 2011.

Funny, acute, fierce and celebratory, this is a tough-minded search for belonging, for love, an identity, a home, and a mother.

If you like Jeanette Winterson you might also like to read books by Hilary Mantel, Angela Carter and Julie Myerson.

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Synopsis

Why be Happy When You Could be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 15 December 2011.

Jeanette Winterson:

In 1985 Jeanette Winterson's first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit , was published. It tells the story of a young girl adopted by Pentecostal parents. The girl is supposed to grow up and be a missionary. Instead she falls in love with a woman. Disaster. Written when Jeanette was only twenty-five, her novel went on to win the Whitbread First Novel award, become an international bestseller and inspire an award-winning BBC television adaptation. Oranges was semi-autobiographical. Mrs Winterson, a thwarted giantess, loomed over that novel and its author's life. When Jeanette finally left her home, at sixteen, because she was in love with a woman, Mrs Winterson asked her: why be happy when you could be normal? This book is the story of a life's work to find happiness. It is a book full of stories: about a girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night; about a tyrant in place of a mother, who has two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the duster drawer, waiting for Armageddon; about growing up in an northern industrial town now changed beyond recognition, part of a community now vanished; and, about the Universe as a Cosmic Dustbin. It is the story of how the painful past Jeanette Winterson thought she had written over and repainted returned to haunt her later life, and sent her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her real mother. It is also a book about other people's stories, showing how fiction and poetry can form a string of guiding lights, a life-raft which supports us when we are sinking.

About the Author

Jeanette Winterson OBE is the author of ten novels, including Oranges are not the Only Fruit, The Passion and Sexing the Cherry; a book of short stories, The World and Other Places; a collection of essays, Art Objects as well as many other works, including children's books, screenplays and journalism. Her writing has won the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel, the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize, the E. M. Forster Award and the Prix d'argent at Cannes Film Festival.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

Jeanette Winterson

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Author's Website

www.jeanettewinterson.com

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Publisher

Format

Hardback

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
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ISBN

9780224093453

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