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A memoir-in-essays from disability advocate and creator of the Instagram account @sitting_pretty Rebekah Taussig, processing a lifetime of memories to paint a beautiful, nuanced portrait of a body that looks and moves differently than most. Growing up as a paralyzed girl during the 90s and early 2000s, Rebekah Taussig only saw disability depicted as something monstrous (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). None of this felt right; and as she got older, she longed for more stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling. Writing about the rhythms and textures of what it means to live in a body that doesn’t fit, Rebekah reflects on everything from the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and how the pervasiveness of ableism in our everyday media directly translates to everyday life. Disability affects all of us, directly or indirectly, at one point or another. By exploring this truth in poignant and lyrical essays, Taussig illustrates the need for more stories and more voices to understand the diversity of humanity. Sitting Pretty challenges us as a society to be patient and vigilant, practical and imaginative, kind and relentless, as we set to work to write an entirely different story.
A memoir-in-essays from disability advocate and creator of the Instagram account @sitting_pretty Rebekah Taussig, processing a lifetime of memories to paint a beautiful, nuanced portrait of a body that looks and moves differently than most. Growing up as a paralyzed girl during the 90s and early 2000s, Rebekah Taussig only saw disability depicted as something monstrous (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). None of this felt right; and as she got older, she longed for more stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling. Writing about the rhythms and textures of what it means to live in a body that doesn't fit, Rebekah reflects on everything from the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and how the pervasiveness of ableism in our everyday media directly translates to everyday life. Disability affects all of us, directly or indirectly, at one point or another. By exploring this truth in poignant and lyrical essays, Taussig illustrates the need for more stories and more voices to understand the diversity of humanity. Sitting Pretty challenges us as a society to be patient and vigilant, practical and imaginative, kind and relentless, as we set to work to write an entirely different story.
A memoir-in-essays from Rebekah Taussig, disability advocate and creator of the Instagram account @sitting_pretty, reflecting on identity, accessibility, and representation and processing a lifetime of memories to paint a more beautiful, nuanced portrait of a body that looks and moves differently than most. Rebekah Taussig has been paralyzed for as long as she can remember but didn't begin to unpack it until she was in her mid-twenties working on a PhD in disability studies. She began writing mini-essays about what it means to live as a disabled woman and exploring the limited ways we typically see disability: something monstrous (the Hunchback of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). She longed for stories that reflected her experiences--stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling. Sitting Pretty offers an honest look at disability and its effects on identity, love, money, and self-worth. Writing about the rhythms and textures of what it means to live in a body that doesn't fit, Rebekah reflects on everything from the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and the false idea of "ableism." Disability affects all of us, directly or indirectly, at one point or another. We all need more stories and more voices to understand the diversity of humanity. A timely reminder to look beyond ourselves and our singular experiences, Sitting Pretty challenges us as a society to be patient and vigilant, practical and imaginative, kind and relentless, as we set to work to write an entirely different story.
An approachable guide to being a thoughtful, informed ally to disabled people, with actionable steps for what to say and do (and what not to do) and how you can help make the world a more inclusive place "A candid, accessible cheat sheet for anyone who wants to thoughtfully join the conversation . . . Emily makes the intimidating approachable and the complicated clear."--Rebekah Taussig, author of Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary, Resilient, Disabled Body People with disabilities are the world's largest minority, an estimated 15 percent of the global population. But many of us--disabled and nondisabled alike--don't know how to act, what to say, or how to be an ally to the disability community. Demystifying Disability is a friendly handbook on the important disability issues you need to know about, including: - How to appropriately think, talk, and ask about disability - Recognizing and avoiding ableism (discrimination toward disabled people) - Practicing good disability etiquette - Ensuring accessibility becomes your standard practice, from everyday communication to planning special events - Appreciating disability history and identity - Identifying and speaking up about disability stereotypes in media Authored by celebrated disability rights advocate, speaker, and writer Emily Ladau, this practical, intersectional guide offers all readers a welcoming place to understand disability as part of the human experience. Praise for Demystifying Disability "Whether you have a disability, or you are non-disabled, Demystifying Disability is a MUST READ. Emily Ladau is a wise spirit who thinks deeply and writes exquisitely."--Judy Heumann, international disability rights advocate and author of Being Heumann "Emily Ladau has done her homework, and Demystifying Disability is her candid, accessible cheat sheet for anyone who wants to thoughtfully join the conversation. A teacher who makes you forget you're learning, Emily makes the intimidating approachable and the complicated clear. This book is a generous and needed gift."--Rebekah Taussig, author of Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body
From the disability rights advocate and creator of the #DisabledAndCute viral campaign, a thoughtful, inspiring, and charming collection of essays exploring what it means to be black and disabled in a mostly able-bodied white America. Keah Brown loves herself, but that hadn’t always been the case. Born with cerebral palsy, her greatest desire used to be normalcy and refuge from the steady stream of self-hate society strengthened inside her. But after years of introspection and reaching out to others in her community, she has reclaimed herself and changed her perspective. In The Pretty One, Brown gives a contemporary and relatable voice to the disabled—so often portrayed as mute, weak, or isolated. With clear, fresh, and light-hearted prose, these essays explore everything from her relationship with her able-bodied identical twin (called “the pretty one” by friends) to navigating romance; her deep affinity for all things pop culture—and her disappointment with the media’s distorted view of disability; and her declaration of self-love with the viral hashtag #DisabledAndCute. By “smashing stigmas, empowering her community, and celebrating herself” (Teen Vogue), Brown and The Pretty One aims to expand the conversation about disability and inspire self-love for people of all backgrounds.
The incredible life story of Haben Girma, the first Deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School, and her amazing journey from isolation to the world stage. Haben grew up spending summers with her family in the enchanting Eritrean city of Asmara. There, she discovered courage as she faced off against a bull she couldn't see, and found in herself an abiding strength as she absorbed her parents' harrowing experiences during Eritrea's thirty-year war with Ethiopia. Their refugee story inspired her to embark on a quest for knowledge, traveling the world in search of the secret to belonging. She explored numerous fascinating places, including Mali, where she helped build a school under the scorching Saharan sun. Her many adventures over the years range from the hair-raising to the hilarious. Haben defines disability as an opportunity for innovation. She learned non-visual techniques for everything from dancing salsa to handling an electric saw. She developed a text-to-braille communication system that created an exciting new way to connect with people. Haben pioneered her way through obstacles, graduated from Harvard Law, and now uses her talents to advocate for people with disabilities. Haben takes readers through a thrilling game of blind hide-and-seek in Louisiana, a treacherous climb up an iceberg in Alaska, and a magical moment with President Obama at The White House. Warm, funny, thoughtful, and uplifting, this captivating memoir is a testament to one woman's determination to find the keys to connection. "This autobiography by a millennial Helen Keller teems with grace and grit." -- O Magazine "A profoundly important memoir." -- The Times ** As featured in The Wall Street Journal, People, and on The TODAY Show ** A New York Times "New & Noteworthy" Pick ** An O Magazine "Book of the Month" Pick ** A Publishers Weekly Bestseller **
Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Jandy Nelson. A girl who can’t speak and a boy who can’t hear go on a journey of self-discovery and find support with each other in this gripping, emotionally resonant novel for “readers who enjoyed John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down” (Booklist) from bestselling author Sara Barnard. Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say. Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen. Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life. The condition’s name has always felt ironic to her, because she certainly does not “select” not to speak. In fact, she would give anything to be able to speak as easily and often as everyone around her can. She suffers from crippling anxiety, and uncontrollably, in most situations simply can’t open her mouth to get out the words. Steffi’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to help him acclimate. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk. As they find ways to communicate, Steffi discovers that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. But as she starts to overcome a lifelong challenge, she’ll soon confront questions about the nature of her own identity and the very essence of what it is to know another person.
Ten percent of the population is affected by a learning disability, but few of us understand what being learning disabled (LD) is really like. When he was fourteen, Bradlee was diagnosed with Velo-Cardio-Facial-Syndrome (VCFS), a wide-spread, little-understood disorder that is expressed through a wide range of physical ailments and learning disabilities. In this funny, moving, and often irreverent book, Bradlee tells his own inspirational story of growing up as an LD kid—and of doing so as the child of larger-than-life, formidably accomplished parents: long-time Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee and bestselling author Sally Quinn. From his difficulties reading social cues, to his cringe-worthy loss of sexual innocence, Bradlee describes the challenges and joys of living “a different life” with disarming candor and humor. By the end of A Different Life he will have become, if not your best friend, one of your favorite people.
Fairy tales shape how we see the world, so what happens when you identify more with the Beast than Beauty? If every disabled character is mocked and mistreated, how does the Beast ever imagine a happily-ever-after? Amanda Leduc looks at fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm to Disney, showing us how they influence our expectations and behaviour and linking the quest for disability rights to new kinds of stories that celebrate difference. "Leduc persuasively illustrates the power of stories to affect reality in this painstakingly researched and provocative study that invites us to consider our favorite folktales from another angle." —Sara Shreve, Library Journal
Lennard J. Davis grew up as the hearing child of deaf parents. In this candid, affecting, and often funny memoir, he recalls the joys and confusions of this special world, especially his complex and sometimes difficult relationships with his working-class Jewish immigrant parents. Gracefully slipping through memory, regret, longing, and redemption, My Sense of Silence is an eloquent remembrance of human ties and human failings.
A groundbreaking approach to wellness that will help you cut through the clutter and find the small shifts that create huge changes in your life, from the host of the podcast The Feel Good Effect “An absolutely fresh and insightful guide . . . If you’re looking to create more calm, clarity, and joy, this book is for you.”—Shauna Shapiro, Ph.D., author of Good Morning I Love You What if wellness isn’t about achieving another set of impossible standards, but about finding what works—for you? Radically simple and ridiculously doable, The Feel Good Effect helps you redefine wellness, on your own terms. Drawing from cutting-edge science on mindfulness, habit, and behavior change, podcast host Robyn Conley Downs offers a collection of small mindset shifts that allow for more calm, clarity, and joy in everyday life, embracing the idea that “gentle is the new perfect” when it comes to sustainable wellness. She then leads you through an easy set of customizable habits for happiness and health in mind, body, and soul, allowing you to counteract stress and prevent burnout. Instead of trying to get more done, The Feel Good Effect offers a refreshingly sane approach that will allow you to identify and focus on the elements that actually move the needle in your life right now. Less striving. More ease. It’s time to feel good.
This PEN/Bellwether Prize–winning novel set in a state-run facility for disabled teenagers is “saucy, brutally funny, gritty, profane, poignant and real” (The Kansas City Star). Playwright and activist Susan Nussbaum’s powerful debut novel invites us into the lives of a group of typical teenagers—alienated, funny, yearning for autonomy—except that they live in an institution for juveniles with disabilities. This unfamiliar, isolated landscape is much the same as the world outside: friendships are forged, trust is built, love affairs are kindled, and rules are broken. But those who call it home have little or no control over their fate. Good Kings Bad Kings challenges our definitions of what it means to be disabled in a story told with remarkable authenticity and in voices that resound with humor and spirit. “This is fiction at its best . . . Simply and breathtakingly honest . . . A stunning accomplishment.” —Barbara Kingsolver “Nussbaum’s dramatist skills translate powerfully into fiction as she gives voices to an infatuating cast of characters . . . This is unquestionably an authentic, galvanizing, and righteous novel.” —Booklist (starred review)
Book Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse Description/Summary:
With his signature wit, twenty-something author, blogger, and entrepreneur Shane Burcaw is back with an essay collection about living a full life in a body that many people perceive as a tragedy. From anecdotes about first introductions where people patted him on the head instead of shaking his hand, to stories of passersby mistaking his able-bodied girlfriend for a nurse, Shane tackles awkward situations and assumptions with humor and grace. On the surface, these essays are about day-to-day life as a wheelchair user with a degenerative disease, but they are actually about family, love, and coming of age. Shane Burcaw is one half of the hillarious YouTube duo, Squirmy and Grubs, which he runs with his girlfriend, now fiancee, Hannah Aylward.
The inspiring, instructive, and ultimately triumphant memoir of a man who used hard work and a Master Plan to turn a life sentence into a second chance. Growing up in a tough Washington, D.C., neighborhood, Chris Wilson was so afraid for his life he wouldn't leave the house without a gun. One night, defending himself, he killed a man. At eighteen, he was sentenced to life in prison with no hope of parole. But what should have been the end of his story became the beginning. Deciding to make something of his life, Chris embarked on a journey of self-improvement--reading, working out, learning languages, even starting a business. He wrote his Master Plan: a list of all he expected to accomplish or acquire. He worked his plan every day for years, and in his mid-thirties he did the impossible: he convinced a judge to reduce his sentence and became a free man. Today Chris is a successful social entrepreneur who employs returning citizens; a mentor; and a public speaker. He is the embodiment of second chances, and this is his unforgettable story.
Book If at Birth You Don't Succeed Description/Summary:
“Hilarious and inspiring, Anner has made a life filled with fans, love, and Internet fame—reminding us that disability is no match for dreams.”—People (Book of the Week) “Zach Anner is way more than an inspirational figure for anyone who has ever felt impossibly different: he’s also a great f**king writer.”—Lena Dunham Comedian Zach Anner opens his frank and devilishly funny book, If at Birth You Don't Succeed, with an admission: he botched his own birth. Two months early, underweight and under-prepared for life, he entered the world with cerebral palsy and an uncertain future. So how did this hairless mole-rat of a boy blossom into a viral internet sensation who's hosted two travel shows, impressed Oprah, driven the Mars Rover, and inspired a John Mayer song? (It wasn't "Your Body is a Wonderland.") Zach lives by the mantra: when life gives you wheelchair, make lemonade. Whether recounting a valiant childhood attempt to woo Cindy Crawford, encounters with zealous faith healers, or the time he crapped his pants mere feet from Dr. Phil, Zach shares his fumbles with unflinching honesty and characteristic charm. By his thirtieth birthday, Zach had grown into an adult with a career in entertainment, millions of fans, a loving family, and friends who would literally carry him up mountains. If at Birth You Don't Succeed is a hilariously irreverent and heartfelt memoir about finding your passion and your path even when it's paved with epic misadventure. This is the unlikely but not unlucky story of a man who couldn't safely open a bag of Skittles, but still became a fitness guru with fans around the world. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll fall in love with the Olive Garden all over again, and learn why cerebral palsy is, definitively, "the sexiest of the palsies." Praise for Zach Anner “Cerebral palsy couldn't stop Anner from becoming a celeb, traveling the world, and Friending Oprah (for starters).”—Cosmopolitan “Zach makes you want to be a better person, with his humor and his heart and everything he's had to deal with from the time he was born. I've never met anyone like him, and I've met a lot of people.” —Oprah Winfrey “A laugh-a-minute read.... If At Birth You Don’t Succeed recounts his journey from being what he calls a “crappy baby” [with cerebral palsy to] the host of his own travel show and an improbable workout guru. If there was ever a book that showed the importance of laughing at yourself, this is probably it.”—MentalFloss (#1 A Best New Book for Spring) “Zach Anner is a truly inspiring and hysterical human being with a warped sense of humor (and body). He’s also an exceptional writer and his memoir is an absolute joy.”—Rainn Wilson “A characteristically hilarious and candid book about growing up with cerebral palsy, winning a reality TV contest with Oprah’s OWN channel and becoming an unlikely-yet-inspiring fitness guru and YouTube celebrity with more than 10 million views.”—What’s Trending “Zach Anner is the living definition of ‘giving better than he’s gotten.’ Life dealt him a difficult hand but he managed to beat the house with humor, heart, and a fearless punk attitude. Required reading.”—Patton Oswalt “I love Zach Anner and I love his memoir. If everyone were a little more like Zach, the world may not be a better place, but it would be funnier place, which is a great step forward.”—Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian “He’s a unique, creative kid with a smart, edgy sense of humor.”—Arsenio Hall “I think I speak for everybody when I say...I want to see more of Zach.” —John Mayer “Wonderful. . . Anner’s comedy is the peppy, uplifting sort you’d expect from someone who Oprah says ‘makes [her] want to be a better person,’ such as his elaborate Olive Garden metaphors for the nature of life. . . . Anner remarks wryly that being expected to act as an ambassador for the disabled ‘is a tightrope walk, which is hard on four wheels.’ Maybe so, but with this book, he makes it look easy.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Funny, empowering...An inspirational memoir with a seasoned, infectious sense of humor...[Anner’s book chronicles] his three decades of life (so far) with cerebral palsy, a permanent condition that hasn’t prevented him from living his dream as a comic, a media sensation, and a motivational speaker.”—Kirkus Reviews
Book In Sickness and in Health Description/Summary:
A frank, humorous exploration of interabled dating, love, and marriage Ben Mattlin’s wife, ML, recalls falling in love with his confidence and sheer determination. On one of their earliest dates, he persuaded her to ride on his lap in his wheelchair on their way home from an Elvis Costello concert. Thirty years later, they still travel like this from time to time, undaunted by the curious stares following them down the street. But In Sickness and in Health is more than an “inspiring” story of how a man born with spinal muscular atrophy—a congenital and incurable neuromuscular condition—survived childhood, graduated from Harvard, married an able-bodied woman, built a family with two daughters and a cat and a turtle, established a successful career in journalism, and lived happily ever after. As Mattlin considers the many times his relationship has been met with surprise or speculation by outsiders—those who consider his wife a “saint” or him just plain “lucky” for finding love—he issues a challenge to readers: why should the idea of an “interabled” couple be regarded as either tragic or noble? Through conversations with more than a dozen other couples of varying abilities, ethnic backgrounds, and orientations, Mattlin sets out to understand whether these pairings are as unusual as onlookers seem to think. Reflecting on his own experience he wonders: How do people balance the stresses of personal-care help with the thrill of romance? Is it possible that the very things that appear to be insurmountable obstacles to a successful relationship—the financial burdens, the physical differences, the added element of an especially uncertain future—could be the building blocks of an enviable level of intimacy and communication that other couples could only dream of? We meet Shane Burcaw, a twenty-three-year-old writer, who offers a glimpse of his first forays into dating with a disability. There’s Rachelle Friedman, the “paralyzed bride,” as the media refers to her, and her husband, discussing the joys and challenges of a new marriage and a growing family. And Christina Crosby and her partner, Janet Jakobsen, reflect on how Crosby’s disabling accident called for them to renegotiate their roles and expectations in their long-term relationship. What emerges is a candid glimpse into the challenges and joys of interabled love—from the first blush of sexual awakening to commitment and marriage and through to widowhood.
Book Across a Hundred Mountains Description/Summary:
Leaving her small Mexico hometown after years of caring for her mother, Juana Garcia embarks on a search for the father who disappeared nineteen years earlier and teams up with Adelina Vasquez, who left her family to pursue forbidden love. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.
I learned from my family that most things could be achieved – the challenge was finding a way. Blind from birth, Graeme Innes was blessed. Blessed because he had a family who refused to view his blindness as a handicap and who instilled in him a belief in his own abilities. Blessed because he had the determination to persevere when obstacles were put in his way. And now, after a long and successful career – from lawyer to company director to Human Rights Commissioner – he has written his story. Finding a Way shares his memories of love and support, of challenges and failures, and of overcoming the discrimination so many people with disabilities face. He writes of the importance of family, the value of courage and the unique experience of a life without one sense but with heightened awareness of the others. Alongside his life story, Innes shares ideas on advocacy for people with disabilities and outlines what remains to be done to fully include people with disabilities in Australian society.
Book If You Really Love Me, Throw Me Off the Mountain Description/Summary:
If you really love me, throw me off the mountain is a memoir of love and adventure. It tells of one very whole woman's experience of being disabled in a world that cannot imagine her being anything other than broken. In 2014, aerial dancer Erin Clark moves from Canada to command the stages of New York City. When her wheelchair breaks, sepsis nearly kills her, and her marriage ends, she is flung out of her life and into a dramatic series of events which culminates with her moving to Spain to join a paragliding school and master one of the world's most dangerous sports. When she falls in love in the Andalusian mountains, she learns that a flying wheelchair might not be the biggest risk of all.
Book Husbands Should Not Break Description/Summary:
In October 2010, Shane Clifton had a serious accident that left him a quadriplegic. Husbands Should Not Break is a memoir that describes the challenges of adjusting to life with a disability. Shane is a theologian by trade, so the memoir explores the problem of pain--where is God when we suffer--weighing the sometimes-abstract categories of theology against the harsh realities of his experience. It is a brutally honest account, which does not shy away from the author's doubts and failures, and touches on rarely spoken-about topics, such as the impact of spinal cord injury upon sexuality. But while the narrative deals with sadness, it is a hopeful rather than depressing text, and often surprisingly funny, as it describes the comedic strangeness of struggling with a broken body. The memoir is an invitation into Shane's mind, providing readers with the opportunity to imagine what it might be like to experience the loss that comes with spinal cord injury and, thereafter, to think about life, loss, disability, and the possibility of happiness in the midst of the hardship and fragility of life.