Blue's Reviews > Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
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's review
Jul 09, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: memoir, queer
Read from July 05 to 08, 2012 — I own a copy

"Going mad is the beginning of a process. It is not supposed to be the end result."

Winterson's bold memoir, an attempt to set the record straight with regards to the half-imagined/half-truthful Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, and a genuine effort to question origins of love and being loved, reads just like a memoir version of Winterson's fiction. There is a lot to think about here, a lot of laughs and some very interesting ideas imbued in sadness, anger, and despair. Madness, indeed, is a process, and one wonders how JW has managed not to give into the process entirely. One also wonders how much she must drive everyone around her up the wall. A self-proclaimed "difficult person," JW (as she often refers to herself) is as brilliant and brave as she is aggressive and enraged. The book would read like a list of confessions and defenses, but it escapes this fate with the help of Winterson's beautiful language and the story of her three births (birth, adoption, and reconnection with her biological mother).

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is the perfect read following or followed by Alison Bechdel's Are You My Mother? Just wear your psychoanalysis hat!
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Quotes Blue Liked

Jeanette Winterson
“Why is the measure of love loss?”
Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Amy (new)

Amy Sounds like my kind of book!

message 2: by Blue (new) - added it

Blue Yeah, they both are (Oranges and this one). You'll like, if you can call it that, all the religion stuff. She was exorcised for being gay, and many more wonderful things!!! True or fiction, her mother and her mother's religious fanaticism are hilarious, scary, and crazy (mostly the latter two, when you are the adopted daughter!)

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