Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Jeanette Winterson's Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Why Be Happy?: Introduction
Why Be Happy?: Plot Summary
Why Be Happy?: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Why Be Happy?: Themes
Why Be Happy?: Quotes
Why Be Happy?: Characters
Why Be Happy?: Symbols
Why Be Happy?: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Jeanette Winterson
Historical Context of Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
Other Books Related to Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
- Full Title: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
- When Written: 2009-2011
- Where Written: England
- When Published: 2011
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Memoir
- Setting: Accrington, Lancashire; Oxford; London
- Climax: After years of denying herself the opportunity to seek out her birth mother, Jeanette Winterson seeks out, finds, and meets her birth mother, a woman named Ann.
- Antagonist: Mrs. Winterson
- Point of View: First person
Extra Credit for Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
Stranger Than Fiction. Jeanette Winterson, who famously rattled the international literary landscape with Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, has long drawn on her real life in order to inform the characters in her fiction. In addition to using fictionalized versions of herself and Mrs. Winterson in Oranges, Winterson has created versions of herself that have appeared in later novels—for instance, the orphan, Silver, in 2004’s Lighthousekeeping, can be read as a Jeanette-figure.