Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

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The baby knows it has been abandoned — I am sure of that. Therefore, the journey back should not be done alone. The terrors and fears are unexpected and out of control.

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You need someone to hold on to. Someone who will hold on to you. Jeanette finds Ann, her mother. I have the wound every since. Mrs Winterson was such a mix of truth and fraud. She invented many bad mothers for me: fallen women, drug addicts, drinkers, men-chasers. The other mother had a lot to carry but I carried it for her, wanting to defend her and feeling ashamed of her all the same time. The hardest part was not knowing. Finally finding each other is one thing. Finding out who they really are is another. And it is everything and nothing.

Ann is my mother.

Book Review - Why be happy when you could be normal? Jeanette Winterson Jonathan Cape, £14

She was a monster but she was my monster. A crucial part of our story is gone, and violently, like a bomb in a womb. The missing part, the missing past, can be an opening, not a void.


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It can be an entry as well as an exit. It is the fossil record, the imprint of another life, and although you can never have that life, your fingers trace the space where it might have been, and your fingers learn a kind of Braille.

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A quest to live life, and find love, no matter what cards you are dealt with at the beginning of your life. ISBN Available in print or Kindle. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page.

Jeanette Winterson faces the childhood that made her the writer she is, for good and for ill.

Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. Search for:. Home About Contact. Everyone frozen is simply dead without hope of return. Joan Bakewell though.

She took some kind of bizarre personal offence and was incredibly antagonistic to people who ultimately are merely foolish with their own money. They were wrong, sure, but they were harmless.


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I understand that back in the day she was a major public intellectual, but like Jonathan Miller I was never persuaded she was actually particularly suited to that role. A cranky crank. Your tale there is one of many that could be stacked up against her.

I loved the book, read it in one sitting. Your review is spot on, you put my thoughts into words. Lighthousekeeping , which came next, was better, and I really liked The Stone Gods. As to Art Objects — I loved it! I must go back to it some time. Just to let you know, I saved a link to your comment here with Winterson recommendations. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.

Notify me of new posts via email. It is a finding place.

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Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? | The New Yorker

Why is the measure of love loss? Share this:. Like this: Like Loading Thanks John. Pingback: Why be happy when you could be normal? Pingback: reading notes. John, Just to let you know, I saved a link to your comment here with Winterson recommendations. The memoir is similar to her autobiography, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit , but gives a more accurate description of her life events in a non-fictionalized fashion. When she was half of a year old, Winterson was adopted by a Christian couple with no children - Mr. At first glance, they seemed like a nice couple, adhering to Christian ideals and trying to teach their new daughter the same.

However, Mrs. Winterson starts disliking Jeanette, and verbally abuses her by saying she "picked the wrong crib" at the adoption center. Paranoid that Devil has possessed her daughter, she Winterson tells her husband to hit Jeanette on numerous occasions. Jeanette is often punished by being locked in a room or left outside on the street, and she is unable to make friends outside of the home for fear of punishment. The only ray of sunlight available to her is books, which she greatly fancies.