When my Mother was angry with me, which was often, she said, ‘The Devil led us to the wrong crib.’
The image of Satan taking time off from the Cold War and McCarthyism to visit Manchester in 1960 – purpose of visit : to deceive Mrs Winterson – has a flamboyant theatricality to it. She was a flamboyant depressive; a woman who kept a revolver in the duster drawer, and the bullets in a tin of Pledge. A woman who stayed up all night baking cakes to avoid sleeping in the same bed as my father. A woman with a prolapse, a thyroid condition, an enlarged heart, an ulcerated leg that never healed, and two sets of false teeth – matt for everyday and a pearlised set for ‘best’.
I do not know why she didn’t/ couldn’t have children. I know that she adopted me because she wanted a friend (she had none), and because I was like a flare sent out into the world – a way of saying she was here – a kind of X Marks the Spot.
Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal
There’s really no reason why I should be thinking of starting yet another book when I already have more than enough books going at various stages on the nightstand (and in other nooks and crannies). But doesn’t this teaser sound tempting enough to make one want to read further on? 😉