REFLECTING ON THE 2015 CILIP CONFERENCE
Written by Martin Mullin, Head of UK Acquisitions. CILIP is the Chartered […]
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While hitchhiking from Boston to Washington, D.C., in 1971 to protest the war in Vietnam, Simi Linton was involved in a car accident that paralyzed her legs and took the lives of her young husband and her best friend. Her memoir begins with her struggle to regain physical and emotional strength and to resume her life in the world. Then Linton takes us on the road she traveled (with stops in Berkeley, Paris, Havana) and back to her home in Manhattan, as she learns what it means to be a disabled person in America. Linton eventually completed a Ph.D., remarried, and began teaching at Hunter College. Along the way she became deeply committed to the disability rights movement and to the people she joined forces with. The stories in "My Body Politic" are populated with richly drawn portraits of Linton's disabled comrades, people of conviction and lusty exuberance who dance, play-and organize--with passion and commitment. "My Body Politic" begins in the midst of the turmoil over Vietnam and concludes with a meditation on the U.S. involvement in the current war in Iraq and the war's wounded veterans. While a memoir of the author's gradual political awakening, "My Body Politic" is filled with adventure, celebration, and rock and roll-Salvador Dali, James Brown, and Jimi Hendrix all make cameo appearances. Linton weaves a tale that shows disability to be an ordinary part of the twists and turns of life and, simultaneously, a unique vantage point on the world.
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