In 1985 Jeanette Winterson's first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit was published. It was Jeanette's version of the story of terraced house in Accrington, of a young girl adopted by Pentecostal parents. She is supposed to grow up to be a missionary, instead she falls in love with a woman. Disaster.
Why be happy when you could be normal is that story's silent twin. It is full of hurt and humour and a fierce love of life. It is about the pursuit of happiness, about lessons in love, the search for a mother and a journey into madness and out again. It is generous, honest and true.
'Brave and beautiful, a testament to the forces of intelligence, heart and imagination.' Spectator
'Boasts everything that she does best: courage, ferocity and prose that soars' Julie Myerson - New Statesman
Why be happy when you could be normal is also available in Dutch: Waarom gelukkig zijn als je ook normaal kunt zijn