What can I say about Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal by Jeanette Winterson? She has an incredible life story to draw from and she does so in writing that understands all of the conventions of good writing. She writes about the horrors and abuse that kids face with little to no place to go to escape and how severely this is amplified for queer kids, and I think she started telling this story before many narratives like this existed. That’s important.
In many ways this book felt like the same book she’s written before. This one is about her mother “Mrs. Winterson,” and about herself. I found myself wanting it to be more about her biological mother, whom she journey’s to find in this book. However, I suppose it makes sense that it’s more about her adoptive mother, about whom she’s spent a lifetime thinking, and much less time processing a biological mother.
It’s a book worth reading. Just like the title, the book is shocking, profound, makes no sense, and is kind of funny.