Jeanette Winterson's memoir, 'Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal'
August 10, 2012
[REBROADCAST] British writer JEANETTE WINTERSON had a rough childhood. She was raised in an industrial town in northern England in the 1960s by adoptive parents who were poor and abusive, particularly her mother, who was also religious zealot. But books, stories and poetry saved Winterson even though they were forbidden in her mother’s Pentecostal home. She writes in a new memoir that reading was her medicine. Winterson first won acclaim after writing the semi-autobiographical novel "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit" in 1985, which also recounted the author’s struggles coming out as a lesbian in her teen years. She tells her whole story in her recent memoir, "Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?," a title borrowed from the words her mother said to her.