We're so excited about our next Friends NYC x TheBrooklynBookworm Book Club pick: GREEDY: Notes From a Bisexual Who Wants Too Much by Jen Winston. People are absolutely RAVING. It was a 2022 Lambda Literary Award Finalist and named a Best LGBTQ+ Book for 2021 by BuzzFeed. We hope you'll join us in reading this gem of a book, and then watching our Instagram Video with Alexis Patterson AKA the Brooklyn Bookworm in conversation with Jen Winston - scroll down + view now!
Alexis had a little pre-chat with Jen to hear more about the book and her life, and so you have a chance to meet her before the club!
Currently located: Los Angeles, CA
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
After I came out on Instagram, I got so many messages from people who said they were also bi but didn't feel like they could come out. I realized that people didn't really have a space to talk about this, and that's when the germ of an idea formed.
You address several challenges that the bisexual community is constantly facing: people labeling your sexuality as a transitory phase, people not believing it as an identity at all, bisexual men being told they’re actually gay. How do you continue to contend with these challenges?
By writing about them! Bi visibility is such a powerful tool—not to mention it feels amazing. I feel lucky to have the privilege to tell my story and connect with so many bi people in the process.
You write in the book, “When I say queer love, I mean love that makes its own rules. Love that creates more space than it takes up.” Can you talk to me more about your journey infinding/discovering queer love?
One of the greatest realizations of my life has been that love doesn't have to follow a script. In essence, queer love is love that challenges the status quo, and self-defines every single day.
Regarding your chapters on sexual assault, do you think we put too much pressure on women and survivors of sexual assault to promote the necessary conversations about consent?
We absolutely put too much pressure on survivors to share their stories—that's a super personal decision that should be entirely up to the survivor themselves. In my case, I felt compelled to tell this story and it was healing for me to do so, but that's not the case for everyone. Let people own their trauma and process how they want, dammit!
If your favorite artist/icon (dead or alive) asked you for a book recommendation, who and what would you recommend?
In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado. (But CMM might actually be my favorite artist so that could def get awkward.)
3 essential items you need while writing?
Coffee, a Sharpie pen, silence
One piece of advice you would give to your 12-year-old self today?
Keep writing. <3
One thing you are most proud of?
Writing this book of course, but also building a life with my partner and our dogs. Relationships take work!
Please recommend three must-reads to our FRIENDS community!
Where can friends find you on the internet and beyond?
Do you have any exciting projects you would like to plug?
I've been working with another writer to turn Greedy into a series :) If anyone works in Hollywood hmu!!Fashion trend you’re crushing on right now?
NIGHTGOWNS. Can't wait for S/S 23 to hit stores and bankrupt meeee.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Nope—I love attention too much.
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
Alas writing doesn't pay the bills, even after you publish a book. I work in marketing, and I even had a full-time job while I wrote the book—if you're waiting to write something, no more excuses. :)
Thanks, Jen! We look forward to chatting with you more in a couple weeks! Everyone else, grab your copy and dig right in.
Here's a little bit more about the book:
If Jen Winston knows one thing for sure, it’s that she’s bisexual. Or wait—maybe she isn’t? Actually, she definitely is. Unless…she’s not?
Jen’s provocative, laugh-out-loud debut takes us inside her journey of self-discovery, leading us through stories of a childhood “girl crush,” an onerous quest to have a threesome, and an enduring fear of being bad at sex. Greedy follows Jen’s attempts to make sense of herself as she explores the role of the male gaze, what it means to be “queer enough,” and how to overcome bi stereotypes when you’re the posterchild for all of them: greedy, slutty, and constantly confused.
With her clever voice and clear-eyed insight, Jen draws on personal experiences with sexism and biphobia to understand how we all can and must do better. She sheds light on the reasons women, queer people, and other marginalized groups tend to make ourselves smaller, provoking the question: What would happen if we suddenly stopped?
Greedy shows us that being bisexual is about so much more than who you’re sleeping with—it’s about finding stability in a state of flux and defining yourself on your own terms. This book inspires us to rethink the world as we know it, reminding us that Greedy was a superpower all along.
Greedy, Paperback, 336 pages.
See you October 19th on the 'gram! <3 <3 <3