An Authoritative Resource Featuring 200 Narrative Works that Shed Light on the Lives of People with Disabilities

The two volumes examine a fascinating set of memoirs and autobiographies written by a variety of authors. Included are works by famous persons such as Temple Grandin and Christy Brown as well as others likely unknown beyond the world of disability studies, such as Terry Galloway (who relates her experience with deafness) and José P. Ramirez (who relates his experience with leprosy). Each of the 200 entries examines a particular author and literary work (e.g., Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind).

The entry provides biographical, historical, and literary context around the author/work and elucidates the role the text has played within the disability memoir. The works selected bear most directly on disability studies proper but also provide rich topics of study for sociology and anthropology courses, minority and gender studies, and English literature studies. Additionally, this publication offers physicians, nurses, and teachers a unique tool in their professional developments to gain insights into the lives of those whom they serve.

The front matter includes a three-part thematic outline so that the reader can easily identify all the entries related to a particular disability (e.g., anorexia, dementia, paralysis, schizophrenia, etc.); a specific format (e.g., graphic memoir, poetry, photography, etc.); or related themes (e.g., feminism, motherhood, Native Americans/First Nations, religion and spirituality, sexuality, etc.). An essay from the editor titled “Disability Experiences in the Classroom” precedes the thematic outline, providing pedagogical insight. An annotated list of 100 additional important disability memoirs is included in an appendix.

[Editorial board composed of G. Thomas Couser, founding director of the Disability Studies Program, Hofstra University, and a leading expert in disability memoir; and Susannah B. Mintz, professor of English and disability studies, chair of English Department, Skidmore College.]


See What’s Different:

  • Includes two tables of contents: one alphabetical by work title and another alphabetical by author last name
  • Features key concepts provided for each essay, including the disability or condition and other relevant themes
  • Offers a concise summary (i.e., abstract) provided for each memoir or work.
  • Highlights key facts listed for each memoir, including subject; author’s name, birth/death dates, occupation, nationality; as well as the work’s genre, time period covered, and historical context.
  • Includes signed entries with clear credentials of writers and scholars.
  • Features 172 total authors, one-third of which are non-U.S.

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Reviews & Testimonials

“This unique collection of essays by leading international experts is highly recommended for academic libraries.”
–ARBA Staff Reviewer

“This unusual approach to disability studies will be of interest to faculty and students researching disability studies, life writing, anthropology, psychology, and sociology.”
–Laurie Selwyn, formerly with Grayson Cty. Law Lib., Sherman, TX

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