‘This is certainly the most moving book of Winterson’s I have ever read… but it wriggles with humour… At one point I was crying so much I had tears in my ears.’ Zoe Williams, the Guardian
Twenty-seven years ago the career of one of our most inventive, original and urgent writers was launched with a startling debut novel – the Whitbread-winning bestseller Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. Now, ten novels and a quarter of a century on, Jeanette Winterson brings this year’s Dublin Writers Festival to an inspiring close with an exploration of her life, her work and the cathartic act of telling stories.
The semi-autobiographical Oranges captured Winterson’s formative years – her tyrannical adoptive mother, the claustrophobic Pentecostal community in which she was raised and her solace in literature. When she subsequently left home aged 16 – after falling in love with a woman – her mother’s response was characteristically perverse: ‘Why be happy when you can be normal’? Winterson takes this telling phrase as the title for her latest book, a journey into madness and back again as the painful past she thought she’d ‘written over’ returns to haunt her.
Like much of Winterson’s work, Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? is at once funny, acute, fierce and celebratory. Join her as she shares her experiences of searching for identity, belonging, love and home.