WNBA Charlotte’s Book Club meets tomorrow – Tuesday, May 7! Join us!

Our next book is the critically acclaimed memoir…..

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal
by Jeannette Winterson
Grove Press
Trade Paperback edition (March 12, 2013)


Discussion is on Tuesday, May 7, 7:00 PM, at the Panera at 5940 Fairview, right near SouthPark Mall. If you need more info, please contact Kristen Knox at whitreidsmama@yahoo.com .

In 1985 Jeanette Winterson’s first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was published. It tells the story of a young girl adopted by Pentecostal parents. The girl is supposed to grow up and be a missionary. Instead she falls in love with a woman. Disaster.

Written when Jeanette was only twenty-five, her novel went on to win the Whitbread First Novel award, become an international bestseller and inspire an award-winning BBC television adaptation.

Oranges was semi-autobiographical. Mrs Winterson, a thwarted giantess, loomed over that novel and its author’s life. When Jeanette finally left her home, at sixteen, because she was in love with a woman, Mrs Winterson asked her: why be happy when you could be normal?

This book is the story of a life’s work to find happiness. It is a book full of stories: about a girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night; about a tyrant in place of a mother, who has two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the duster drawer, waiting for Armageddon; about growing up in an northern industrial town now changed beyond recognition, part of a community now vanished; about the Universe as a Cosmic Dustbin. It is the story of how the painful past Jeanette Winterson thought she had written over and repainted returned to haunt her later life, and sent her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her real mother. It is also a book about other people’s stories, showing how fiction and poetry can form a string of guiding lights, a life-raft which supports us when we are sinking.

Funny, acute, fierce and celebratory, this is a tough-minded search for belonging, for love, an identity, a home, and a mother.


Our meetings take place on the first Tuesday of each month, 7 PM at the Panera on Fairview near SouthPark. We have chosen books to take us through to next October when there will be a new Great Group Reads list released.  Here’s what we’ve read and will be reading:

December 4:  I Married You For Happiness by Lily Tuck [click here for more info about our discussion]

January 8: The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin [click here for more info about our discussion]

February 5: Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall

March 5: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

April 2: Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani

May 7: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal by Jeannette Winterson

June 4: An Age of Madness by David Maine

July 2: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

August 6: Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

September 3: Boleto by Alison Hagy

October 1: In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner




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