Cue fireworks: Disabled Literature by Wendy Chung, Alijandra Mogilner, Svetlana Zakinova and, yes, yours truly, is now available. Twenty years in the research and writing, Disabled Literature examines how authors have used characters with disabilities to elicit emotional reactions in readers; additionally, how writers use disabilities to present individuals as “the other” rather than simply as people. Finally, the book discusses how literature has changed, or is changing, with regards to its presentation of those with a disability.
Is this news? Probably not; we all know evil Captain Hook in Peter Pan with the hook in place of a hand. We know Tiny Tim with the crutches. We know Forrest Gump and we certainly know Raymond in Rain Man. We get it, we understand being manipulated but agree to it so we can feel the fear, feel the pity, feel something while we read and are entertained. Isn’t feeling something from literature one of the points? Unfortunately, depending on the character, on the plot, the setting, sometimes we lose something. Sometimes we lose just a bit of humanity.
Disabled Literature is now available from these retailers:
Barnes and Noble:
Yes, it took a great deal of time to write Disabled Literature. Yes, we thought we’d go crazy sometimes through all the research. Would we do it again? In a flat minute.