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Jeanette Winterson asks the question, “Why be happy when you could be normal?”

"Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?" by Jeanette Winterson

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When, at age sixteen, Jeanette Winterson left home because she was in love with a woman, her adoptive mother asked her, “Why be happy when you could be normal?”

‘Mrs. Winterson,’ as Jeanette calls her, was a religious zealot who kept a revolver in the dresser and locked her daughter out of the house. Winterson’s compelling new memoir details her painful Pentecostal upbringing in a north English industrial town, her search for her biological mother, her journey into madness and out again and her eventual salvation through writing. It’s been called “clarion, courageous, vividly expressive” and “a work of terror and beauty.”

Jeanette Winterson will be signing books at Skylight Books Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?


Jeanette Winterson, author of “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?” (Grove Press) and numerous novels, including “Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit,” “Sexing the Cherry” and “The Passion.”