How to Be Normal

Phil Christman
February 1, 2022


A collection of essays by the author of the critically acclaimed Midwest Futures.

Building on themes explored in his first book—specifically the notion of normality, or banality, or just plain "averageness" as it relates to Midwesternness and other modes of identity—Phil Christman here writes from the intersection of his own various identities: Democratic Socialist, antiracist, prison abolitionist, former fundamentalist, striving feminist. Essays include "How To Be a Man," "How To Be White," "How to Be Religious," "How To Be Married," "How To Be Midwestern," and more, including brilliant analyses of middlebrow culture, bad movies, Marc Fisher, and Christian fundamentalism. With exquisite attention to syntax and prose, Christman unites these essays by his radical openness to inquiry. In the hands of this probing, witty writer, even the most seemingly "normal" subjects blossom into explorations laced with curiosity and delight.

A book that speaks to lovers of cultural criticism and gorgeous prose that engages with big ideas and small. 

ISBN: 9781953368102| 208 pages|Hardcover|February 2 2022|$26.00

Digital review copies available on Edelweiss and upon request (please email Anne Trubek at 

Distributed by PGW/Ingram


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