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About the book
  • Published: 1 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099556091
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $19.99

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?




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

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

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.
‘Unforgettable… It’s the best book I have ever read about the cost of growing up’ Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times
**ONE OF THE GUARDIAN'S 100 BEST BOOKS OF THE 21st CENTURY**

  • Pub date: 1 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099556091
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson OBE was born in Manchester. Adopted by Pentecostal parents she was raised to be a missionary. This did and didn’t work out.

Discovering early the power of books she left home at 16 to live in a Mini and get on with her education. After graduating from Oxford University she worked for a while in the theatre and published her first novel at 25. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is based on her own upbringing but using herself as a fictional character. She scripted the novel into a BAFTA-winning BBC drama. 27 years later she re-visited that material in the bestselling memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? She has written 10 novels for adults, as well as children’s books, non-fiction and screenplays. She writes regularly for the Guardian. She lives in the Cotswolds in a wood and in Spitalfields, London.

She believes that art is for everyone and it is her mission to prove it.

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Praise for Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

“Unforgettable… It’s the best book I have ever read about the cost of growing up.”

Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times

“A searingly felt and expressed autobiography…Funny and profoundly hopeful – a tale of survival”

Kate Hamer, Metro

“This book is good, sensible, beautiful company… Try this”

A.L. Kennedy, Week

“Jeanette Winterson’s writing is poetic, emotive and beautiful”

So Many Books So Little Time (blog)

“Incredibly moving and full of Winterson’s characteristic wit.”

Elle

“A memoir of a childhood shot through with fire-and-brimstone parenting, resilience and survival. The disturbing portrait of her adoptive mother is balanced by Winterson’s crisp wit.”

Juliet Nicolson, Week

“It is in laying the truth bare in this unflinchingly honest and gripping memoir that Winterson really seems to find self-acceptance, love and even happiness”

Yvonne Cassidy, The Gloss


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