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

Expanding on some of the themes found in her autobiographical novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Winterson writes in her new memoir about being adopted and raised by Pentecostal parents. The first half of the book is a series of stories and snapshots from Winterson’s young life as a girl and of her relationship with her adoptive, religious zealot mother who was thwarted and abusive. The second half of the memoir feels as if it’s almost written in “real-time” and tells of Winterson’s quest to find her biological parents. In some ways, Winterson has done for the feeling of displacement and yearning that comes with being adopted, what Joan Didion did for grief in Year of Magical Thinking: written a singular story that captures a universal topic. With woven words and tactile imagery, she has created a raw narrative of survival, wit, and the importance of claiming identity.
Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780802120106
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Grove Press - March 6th, 2012