Rev: Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal


book review: Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal, by Jeanette Winterson

not so much “review”

can one review such a thing? a personal history. but then all personal histories are to some extent fictionalised. and then all fiction is to some extent personal history. what line is there to draw?

this book, perhaps the difference is it feels so close to my life as well; a sort of fun-house mirror reflection, some bits rearranged, but all the body’s there. and so it gave that sense of self-outside-the-self, perhaps one comes out biased and holds on to things that won’t appeal more broadly, or perhaps the point of our own histories is not in breadth but in the reaching of the few and giving them a friend to talk with


it works much better for the reader who’s read through her body, and to some extent presumes it, playing on those references to short-hand get across emotions and ideas

effective that way, but again a limiter. probably it’s written more for her own benefit, writing as a means of knowing, so it ought to be expected, that it only fits a shape that’s near her own