Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

1 comments 5 stars

The shocking, heart-breaking - and often very funny - true story behind Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, Jeanette Winterson

In 1985 Jeanette Winterson's first novel, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, was published. It was Jeanette's version of the story of a terraced house in Accrington, an adopted child, and the thwarted giantess Mrs Winterson. It was a cover story, a painful past written over and repainted. It was a story of survival.

This book is that story's the silent twin. It is full of hurt and humour and a fierce love of life. It is about the pursuit of happiness, about lessons in love, the search for a mother and a journey into madness and out again. It is generous, honest and true.

Available Formats

  • Paperback
    $19.99 RRP
    ISBN: 9780099556091
    Published: 01/05/2012
    Imprint: Vintage
    Extent: 240 pages
  • Hardback
    $29.99 RRP
    ISBN: 9780224093453
    Published: 01/11/2011
    Imprint: Jonathan Cape
    Extent: 240 pages
  • EBook
    ISBN: 9781446402115
    Published: 01/10/2011
    Imprint: Vintage Digital
    Extent: 240 pages
See All Reviews

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"Vivid, unpredictable, and sometimes mind-rattling memoir... This book... which had been funny enough to make me laugh out loud more times than is advisable on the No 12 bus - turns into something raw and unnerving" - Julie Myerson, Observer

"This is certainly the most moving book of Winterson's I have ever read... but it wriggles with humour... At one point I was crying so much I had tears in my ears. There is much here that is impressive, but what I find most unusual about it is the way it deepens one's sympathy, for everyone involved" - Zoe Williams, Guardian

"In the 26 years since the publication of her highly acclaimed first novel, Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson has proved herself a writer of startling invention, originality and style. Her combination of the magical and the earthy, the rapturous and the matter-of-fact, is unique. It is a strange and felicitous gift, as if the best of Gabriel Garcia Marquez was combined with the best of Alan Bennett... This remarkable account is, among other things, a powerful argument for reading... This memoir is brave and beautiful, a testament to the forces of intelligence, heart and imagination. It is a marvellous book and generous one" - Spectator

"Both inspiring and appalling, its cruellest details only made digestible by the restrained elegance of Winterson's prose" - Independent on Sunday

"A dazzling autobiography, this is a love letter to literature as a means to survive" - GQ

"Boasts everything that she does best: courage, ferocity and prose that soars" - Julie Myerson, New Statesman, Books of the Year

"In memoir, honesty matters more than anything but, when married with humour, wit and elan vital of Jeanette Winterson's [book], it is a transformative force" - John Burnside, New Statesman, Books of the Year

"Moved me deeply. [It] celebrates the redeeming power of the written word and is undercut with an irresistible humour born of residence in hardship" - Juliet Nicholson, Evening Standard, Books of the Year

"An extraordinary tragic-comic literary autobiography" - Mark Lawson, Guardian, Books of the Year

"Funny and scary mixed together, in the manner of the Brothers Grimm, sharp as a knife, round as a child's eye" - Daily Telegraph

Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson OBE is the author of ten novels, including Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, The Passion and Written On The Body; 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.

Visit her website at www.jeanettewinterson.com