About Us: Essays from the Disability Series of the New York Times


Peter Catapano - 2019
    Speaking not only to those with disabilities, but also to their families, coworkers and support networks, the authors in About Us offer intimate stories of how they navigate a world not built for them.Since its 2016 debut, the popular New York Times’ “Disability” column has transformed the national dialogue around disability. Now, echoing the refrain of the disability rights movement, “Nothing about us without us,” this landmark collection gathers the most powerful essays from the series that speak to the fullness of human experience—stories about first romance, childhood shame and isolation, segregation, professional ambition, child-bearing and parenting, aging and beyond.Reflecting on the fraught conversations around disability—from the friend who says “I don’t think of you as disabled,” to the father who scolds his child with attention differences, “Stop it stop it stop it what is wrong with you?”—the stories here reveal the range of responses, and the variety of consequences, to being labeled as “disabled” by the broader public.Here, a writer recounts her path through medical school as a wheelchair user—forging a unique bridge between patients with disabilities and their physicians. An acclaimed artist with spina bifida discusses her art practice as one that invites us to “stretch ourselves toward a world where all bodies are exquisite.” With these notes of triumph, these stories also offer honest portrayals of frustration over access to medical care, the burden of social stigma and the nearly constant need to self-advocate in the public realm.In its final sections, About Us turns to the questions of love, family and joy to show how it is possible to revel in life as a person with disabilities. Subverting the pervasive belief that disability results in relentless suffering and isolation, a quadriplegic writer reveals how she rediscovered intimacy without touch, and a mother with a chronic illness shares what her condition has taught her young children.With a foreword by Andrew Solomon and introductory comments by co-editors Peter Catapano and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, About Us is a landmark publication of the disability movement for readers of all backgrounds, forms and abilities.Topics Include: Becoming Disabled • Mental Illness is not a Horror Show • Disability and the Right to Choose • Brain Injury and the Civil Right We Don’t Think • The Deaf Body in Public Space • The Everyday Anxiety of the Stutterer • I Use a Wheelchair. And Yes, I’m Your Doctor • A Symbol for “Nobody” That’s Really for Everybody • Flying While Blind • My $1,000 Anxiety Attack • A Girlfriend of My Own • The Three-Legged Dog Who Carried Me • Passing My Disability On to My Children • I Have Diabetes. Am I to Blame? • Learning to Sing Again • A Disabled Life is a Life Worth Living

Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability


Jennifer Bartlett - 2011
    Crip Poetry. Disability Poetry. Poems with Disabilities. This is where poetry and disability intersect, overlap, collide and make peace."[BEAUTY IS A VERB] is going to be one of the defining collections of the 21st century...the discourse between ability, identity & poetry will never be the same." —Ron Silliman, author of In The American Tree"This powerful anthology succeeds at intimately showing...disability through the lenses of poetry. What emerges from the book as a whole is a stunningly diverse array of conceptions of self and other.”—Publishers Weekly, starred reviewFrom "Beauty and Variations" by Kenny Fries:How else can I quench this thirst? My lipstravel down your spine, drink the smoothnessof your skin. I am searching for the core:What is beautiful? Who decides? Can the lawsof nature be defied? Your body tells me: comeclose. But beauty distances even as it drawsme near. What does my body want from yours?My twisted legs around your neck. You bendme back. Even though you can't give the bonesat birth I wasn't given, I let you deep inside.You give me—what? Peeling back my skin, youexpose my missing bones. And my heart, longbefore you came, just as broken. I don't know whoto blame. So each night, naked on the bed, my bodydoesn't want repair, but longs for innocence. Ifinnocent, despite the flaws I wear, I am beautiful.Sheila Black is a poet and children's book writer. In 2012, Poet Laureate Philip Levine chose her as a recipient of the Witter Bynner Fellowship.Disability activist Jennifer Bartlett is a poet and critic with roots in the Language school.Michael Northen is a poet and the editor of Wordgathering: A Journal of Poetics and Disability.

American Hate: Survivors Speak Out


Arjun Singh Sethi - 2018
    In a series of powerful, unfiltered testimonials, survivors tell their stories in their own words and describe how the bigoted rhetoric and policies of the Trump administration have intensified bullying, discrimination, and even violence toward them and their communities.We hear from the family of Khalid Jabara, who was murdered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in August 2016 by a man who had previously harassed and threatened them because they were Arab American. Sethi brings us the story of Jeanette Vizguerra, an undocumented mother of four who took sanctuary in a Denver church in February 2017 because she feared deportation under Trump’s cruel immigration enforcement regime. Sethi interviews Taylor Dumpson, a young black woman who was elected student body president at American University only to find nooses hanging across campus on her first day in office. We hear from many more people impacted by the Trump administration, including Native, black, Arab, Latinx, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, undocumented, refugee, transgender, queer, and people with disabilities.A necessary book for these times, American Hate explores this tragic moment in U.S. history by empowering survivors whose voices white nationalists and right-wing populist movements have tried to silence. It also provides ideas and practices for resistance that all of us can take to combat hate both now and in the future.

Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother


Beth Ann Fennelly - 2006
    Some answer specific questions; others muse about the identity shift a woman encounters when she enters Mommyland. This book invites all mothers to join the grand circle of giving and receiving advice about children.

Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking


Julia Bascom - 2012
    Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking is a collection of essays written by and for Autistic people. Spanning from the dawn of the Neurodiversity movement to the blog posts of today, Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking catalogues the experiences and ethos of the Autistic community and preserves both diverse personal experiences and the community’s foundational documents together side by side.-from ASAN

I Think I Might Be Autistic: A Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis and Self-Discovery for Adults


Cynthia Kim - 2013
    What do the symptoms of ASD look like in adults? Is getting a diagnosis worth it? What does an assessment consist of and how can you prepare for it?Cynthia Kim shares the information, insights, tips, suggestions and resources she gathered as part of her own journey from "aha!" to finally being diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome in her forties. This concise guide also addresses important aspects of living with ASD as a late-diagnosed adult, including coping with the emotional impact of discovering that you're autistic and deciding who to share your diagnosis with and how.

This Is Me Letting You Go


Heidi Priebe - 2016
    In a world that teaches us to cling to what we love at all costs, there is an undeniable art to moving on – and it’s one that we are constantly relearning. In this series of honest and poignant essays, Heidi Priebe explores the harsh reality of what it means to let go of the people and situations we love most - often before we are ready to – and how to embrace what comes next.

Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century


Alice Wong - 2020
    Some are visible, some are hidden—but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Now, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, activist Alice Wong brings together an urgent, galvanizing collection of personal essays by contemporary disabled writers. There is Harriet McBryde Johnson’s “Unspeakable Conversations,” which describes her famous debate with Princeton philosopher Peter Singer over her own personhood. There is columnist s. e. smith’s celebratory review of a work of theater by disabled performers. There are original pieces by up-and-coming authors like Keah Brown and Haben Girma. There are blog posts, manifestos, eulogies, and testimonies to Congress. Taken together, this anthology gives a glimpse of the vast richness and complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites readers to question their own assumptions and understandings. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and past with hope and love.

[Don't] Call Me Crazy


Kelly JensenStephanie Kuehn - 2018
    Because there’s no single definition of crazy, there’s no single experience that embodies it, and the word itself means different things—wild? extreme? disturbed? passionate?—to different people. (Don’t) Call Me Crazy is a conversation starter and guide to better understanding how our mental health affects us every day. Thirty-three writers, athletes, and artists offer essays, lists, comics, and illustrations that explore their personal experiences with mental illness, how we do and do not talk about mental health, help for better understanding how every person’s brain is wired differently, and what, exactly, might make someone crazy. If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, or know someone who has, come on in, turn the pages, and let’s get talking.

Capitalism and Disability: Essays by Marta Russell


Marta Russell - 2019
    In this volume, Russell’s various essays are brought together in one place in order to provide a useful and expansive resource to those interested in better understanding the ways in which the modern phenomenon of disability is shaped by capitalist economic and social relations. The essays range in analysis from the theoretical to the topical, including but not limited to: the emergence of disability as a “human category” rooted in the rise of industrial capitalism and the transformation of the conditions of work, family, and society corresponding thereto; a critique of the shortcomings of a purely “civil rights approach” to addressing the persistence of disability oppression in the economic sphere, with a particular focus on the legacy of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; an examination of the changing position of disabled people within the overall system of capitalist production utilizing the Marxist economic concepts of the reserve army of the unemployed, the labor theory of value, and the exploitation of wage-labor; the effects of neoliberal capitalist policies on the living conditions and social position of disabled people as it pertains to welfare, income assistance, health care, and other social security programs; imperialism and war as a factor in the further oppression and immiseration of disabled people within the United States and globally; and the need to build unity against the divisive tendencies which hide the common economic interest shared between disabled people and the often highly-exploited direct care workers who provide services to the former.

Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy


Kelly Jensen - 2020
    Just as every person has a unique personality, every person has a unique body, and every body tells its own story.   In Body Talk, thirty-seven writers, models, actors, musicians, and artists share essays, lists, comics, and illustrations—about everything from size and shape to scoliosis, from eating disorders to cancer, from sexuality and gender identity to the use of makeup as armor. Together, they contribute a broad variety of perspectives on what it’s like to live in their particular bodies—and how their bodies have helped to inform who they are and how they move through the world.   Come on in, turn the pages, and join the celebration of our diverse, miraculous, beautiful bodies!

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2017


Sarah Vowell - 2017
    . . One wonders how the world might be different if works in The Best American Nonrequired Reading were indeed required.” —USA Today Sarah Vowell, author of Lafayette in the Somewhat United States and other best-selling titles "gilded with snark, buoyant on charm" (NPR), worked with the students of  the 826 Valencia writing lab to edit this year's anthology. They compiled new fiction, nonfiction, poetry, comics, and the category-defying gems that have become one of the hallmarks of this lively collection.

O's Guide to Life: The Best of O, The Oprah Magazine (Wisdom, Wit, Advice, Interviews and Inspiration)


O, The Oprah Magazine - 2007
    It s about loving who you really are - and embracing the challenge to discover your best life ever. Best of all, Oprah will donate 100% of Harpo s profits from the sale of this book to Oprah s Angel Network. Every month O, The Oprah Magazine seeks out answers - not just from the most respected experts in America, but also from ordinary women who ve accomplished extraordinary things. Whether they re world-class experts or everyday people, they all have one thing in common: They ve tapped into tips, techniques, and strategies for getting the best out of life. Now, you can too. In O's Guide to Life, you ll find expert advice for:-Sculpting your best body with Oprah s step-by-step illustrations -Getting the sex life you want by turning up the heat with must-have tips from Dr. Phil-Discovering the power of financial stability with Suze Orman s 6 easy steps Plus so much more!Start living your best life today!

Whatever Gets You Through: Twelve Women on Life After Sexual Assault


Jen Sookfong LeeElly Danica - 2019
    But sexual assault isn't limited to a single, terrible moment of violence: it stays with survivors, following them wherever they go.Through the voices of twelve diverse female writers, Whatever Gets You Through offers a powerful look at the narrative of sexual assault not covered by the headlines--the weeks, months, and years of survival and adaptation that women live through in its aftermath. With a foreword by Jessica Valenti, an extensive introduction by editors Stacey May Fowles and Jen Sookfong Lee, and contributions by acclaimed literary voices listed in presentation order: Lauren McKeon, Heather O'Neill, Alicia Elliott, Juliane Okot Bitek, Kai Chen Thom, Elly Danica, Gwen Benaway, Karyn L. Freedman, Amber Dawn, Soraya Palmer, Lea Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Elisabeth de Mariaffi. The collection explores some of the many different forms that survival can take.From ice hockey to kink, boxing to tapestry-making, these striking personal essays address subjects as varied as the women who have lived them. With candor and insight, each writer shares her own unique experience of enduring: the everyday emotional pain and trauma, but also the incredible resilience and strength that can emerge in the aftermath of sexual assault.

I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder: A Memoir


Sarah Kurchak - 2020
    She hasn’t let that get in the way of pursuing her dream to become a writer, or to find love, but she has let it get in the way of being in the same room with someone chewing food loudly, and of cleaning her bathroom sink. In I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder, Kurchak examines the Byzantine steps she took to become “an autistic success story,” how the process almost ruined her life and how she is now trying to recover.Growing up undiagnosed in small-town Ontario in the eighties and nineties, Kurchak realized early that she was somehow different from her peers. She discovered an effective strategy to fend off bullying: she consciously altered nearly everything about herself—from her personality to her body language. She forced herself to wear the denim jeans that felt like being enclosed in a sandpaper iron maiden. Every day, she dragged herself through the door with an elevated pulse and a churning stomach, nearly crumbling under the effort of the performance. By the time she was finally diagnosed with autism at twenty-seven, she struggled with depression and anxiety largely caused by the same strategy she had mastered precisely. She came to wonder, were all those years of intensely pretending to be someone else really worth it?Tackling everything from autism parenting culture to love, sex, alcohol, obsessions and professional pillow fighting, Kurchak’s enlightening memoir challenges stereotypes and preconceptions about autism and considers what might really make the lives of autistic people healthier, happier and more fulfilling.