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Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? I got plenty of strange looks from people who saw me reading this on the bus in Santa Cruz. They must have figured it was a self-help book in reverse. In one sense it is. This memoir does not provide any soft and fuzzy pathway to creativity.  Winterson’s adoptive mother is an accidental mentor who shaped her daughter’s language while providing a reason for her creativity. The mom — identified here as “Mrs. Winterson” — gave her something to work against. What really struck me here is the amount of light Winterson lets in. The ultra-religious mom is frightening — she sometimes locks her daughter in a coal hole — but never comes across as a monster. Worth re-reading to see how she pulls this off. I would have gone through this a third time but it was borrowed and I had to give it back. ILL doesn’t mess around.

Graham Greene, Brighton Rock.

Charles Yu, How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

Kenneth Gross,  Puppet: an essay on uncanny life

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