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

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A groundbreaking collection of first-person writing on the joys and challenges of the modern disability experience: Disability Visibility brings together the voices of activists, authors, lawyers, politicians, artists, and everyday people whose daily lives are, in the words of playwright Neil Marcus, “an art…an ingenious way to live.” A Vintage Books Original. According to A groundbreaking collection of first-person writing on the joys and challenges of the modern disability experience: Disability Visibility brings together the voices of activists, authors, lawyers, politicians, artists, and everyday people whose daily lives are, in the words of playwright Neil Marcus, “an art…an ingenious way to live.” A Vintage Books Original. According to the last census, one in five people in the United States lives with a disability. 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.


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A groundbreaking collection of first-person writing on the joys and challenges of the modern disability experience: Disability Visibility brings together the voices of activists, authors, lawyers, politicians, artists, and everyday people whose daily lives are, in the words of playwright Neil Marcus, “an art…an ingenious way to live.” A Vintage Books Original. According to A groundbreaking collection of first-person writing on the joys and challenges of the modern disability experience: Disability Visibility brings together the voices of activists, authors, lawyers, politicians, artists, and everyday people whose daily lives are, in the words of playwright Neil Marcus, “an art…an ingenious way to live.” A Vintage Books Original. According to the last census, one in five people in the United States lives with a disability. 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.

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    The Artisan Geek

    1/7/20 I have been looking for exactly this kind of book and it came in the mail today -- so so happy to have it!! :D You can find me on Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website | The Storygraph 1/7/20 I have been looking for exactly this kind of book and it came in the mail today -- so so happy to have it!! :D You can find me on Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website | The Storygraph

  2. 4 out of 5

    Richard Propes

    In a world where the disabled voice is often viewed through the lens of what disability rights activist Stella Young coined as "inspiration porn" or with the rah-rah sympathies of the latest Lifetime Channel movie, a book like "Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century" is an act of revolutionary love and claiming of space. There is no "Chicken Soup for the Soul" to be found here. In its place, you find #CripLit at its finest - bold and brash, heartfelt and passio In a world where the disabled voice is often viewed through the lens of what disability rights activist Stella Young coined as "inspiration porn" or with the rah-rah sympathies of the latest Lifetime Channel movie, a book like "Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century" is an act of revolutionary love and claiming of space. There is no "Chicken Soup for the Soul" to be found here. In its place, you find #CripLit at its finest - bold and brash, heartfelt and passionate, and incredibly well-informed essays and reflections on the vast diversity of the disability experience as told by a relatively small smattering of the leading disability voices in the 21st century. Trust me, there are more. Lots more. However, "Disability Visibility" editor Alice Wong has chosen her subjects well in representing the remarkable love and chaos of the disability experience. The writers themselves, representing a broad spectrum of disabilities both visible and invisible, have written with tremendous authenticity, remarkable transparency, and a vulnerability that frequently had me in tears throughout this rewarding collection. Being released just in time for the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), "Disability Visibility" doesn't mute the harshness of the disability experience. Indeed, many of the essays in the collection begin with content warnings regarding the subject matter about to be discussed - "Disability Visibility" is relentless and fierce in its commitment to an honest portrayal of the disability experience. It begins with Wong's own introduction to the collection, an introduction birthed out of Wong's own life experiences and her own work with the Disability Visibility Project, a collaboration with StoryCorps, that serves as the framework for this collection. It would be unjust to describe the essays in "Disability Visibility" with any detail, though some highlights include Harriet McBryde Johnson's riveting and squirm-inducing account of her debate with Princeton University philosopher Peter Singer, an animal rights activist who doesn't possess the same kind of regard for the lives of persons with disabilities. Upcoming authors Keah Brown and Haben Girma share involving original pieces, while some of my own favorites included s.e. smith's essays on crip space, Jamison Hill's poignant and beautiful "Love Means Never Having to Say...Anything," Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's "Still Dreaming Wild Disability Justice Dreams at the End of the World," the intelligent and angry Harriet Tubman Collective's "Disability Solidarity," Britney Wilson's disturbing essay on NYC's Paratransit program, and Mari Ramsawakh's "Incontinence Is a Public Health Issue And We Need To Talk About It," the latter being an essay that truly connected with pieces of my own disability experience as a 54-year-old writer, creator, and film journalist who is also a paraplegic/double amputee with spina bifida. There were more essays that I loved, truly loved. There were essays that flew over my head including Jillian Weise's "Common Cyborg." I felt like I wanted to find Wong or Weise on social media and say "Explain this to me, because I have the feeling it's brilliant and I just don't quite get it." The truth is that I'd be hard-pressed to cite a single weak essay. These essays are revolutionary proclamations of the incredible richness and complexity of the disability experience. While there is much pain and anger within the pages of "Disability Visibility," it is also filled with much love and hope and wonder. As Neil Marcus so beautifully stated "Disability is not a brave struggle or "courage in the face of adversity." Disability is an art. It's an ingenious way to live." That truth, that disability is an ingenious way to live, is brought to life again and again in this groundbreaking collection of first-person stories from the twenty-first century that challenge and confront, claim space and serve as a literary companion of sorts. There's so many enlightening truths to be explored here, truths that will be easily embraced and understood by those with disabilities and their allies yet truths that also invite readers to challenge their own assumptions and understandings of the disability experience and disability culture. "Disability Visibility" is a book that illuminates the disability experience with equal parts intelligence and authentic emotional resonance. It's a book that is, at times, difficult to read yet a book that is necessary to read. It's a book I will undoubtedly revisit time and again, yet it's also a book that required I pace myself due to its stark honesty and and the often trauma-tinged stories of individual disability experiences. It's a book that captures it all and for that I am grateful and for that I highly recommend it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lily Herman

    Wow, what a force of a book. For many who read Alice Wong's Disability Visibility, this anthology will serve as an important jumping-off point into disability discourse as opposed to a final or concluding work. If you go in knowing that it'll leave you with an infinite number of experiences to read more about elsewhere, you'll get a lot out of this book. As with any anthology, some essays are a little more solidly constructed than others, but every single one touches on an important part of what i Wow, what a force of a book. For many who read Alice Wong's Disability Visibility, this anthology will serve as an important jumping-off point into disability discourse as opposed to a final or concluding work. If you go in knowing that it'll leave you with an infinite number of experiences to read more about elsewhere, you'll get a lot out of this book. As with any anthology, some essays are a little more solidly constructed than others, but every single one touches on an important part of what it means to live with a disability in a modern world. And as one essay touches on, ableist standards of what's "complete" in publishing often keep disabled writers and editors from sharing their truths. In terms of notes for reading, I recommend taking on a few essays at time to really let them sink in, especially because they run the gamut in terms of subject matter and structure. I also commend Wong for including an incredibly thorough list of resources at the end for those who want to learn more about the disability community as well as key conversations and debates. Another shout out goes to Wong for including specific content warnings at the top of every essay, making it easy for people to decide what they're okay reading about or maybe need to skip.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)

    What an anthology!! The range of perspectives and life experiences included in this collection of essays, and reviews I’ve seen from own voices readers commenting now seen they feel by this collection, is a testament to the wonderful work of Alice Wong in putting this together. This made for a really engaging thematic discussion across the text, including the form itself that some essays were made in (some are interviews, speeches, transcriptions, and more). One thing I took from reading this was What an anthology!! The range of perspectives and life experiences included in this collection of essays, and reviews I’ve seen from own voices readers commenting now seen they feel by this collection, is a testament to the wonderful work of Alice Wong in putting this together. This made for a really engaging thematic discussion across the text, including the form itself that some essays were made in (some are interviews, speeches, transcriptions, and more). One thing I took from reading this was an ongoing conversation around ableism, particularly internalized ableism, something that I’m trying to be more cognizant of in my own reading and responses to content. Grateful to have read an early copy via @netgalley.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. You may or may not know that 1 out of every 5 Americans is disabled, whether visible or not, and that number is even more startling for Black Americans, wherein 1 in every 4 are disabled. This collection, expertly curated and edited by disability activist Alice Wong, is not only timely, but it’s a vital anthology for readers -- abled and disabled -- to understand the realities of disability and disability justice today. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. You may or may not know that 1 out of every 5 Americans is disabled, whether visible or not, and that number is even more startling for Black Americans, wherein 1 in every 4 are disabled. This collection, expertly curated and edited by disability activist Alice Wong, is not only timely, but it’s a vital anthology for readers -- abled and disabled -- to understand the realities of disability and disability justice today. Broken into four sections -- Being, Becoming, Doing, and Connecting -- each of the essays digs into something related to the theme at hand and each piece is tightly written by a wide range of contributors. Some of the names will be familiar, while others will be new names, but there’s not a single weak essay in the collection. Among the ones that really stood out to me included “The Isolation of Being Deaf in Prison,” wherein Jeremy Woody tells his experiences being Deaf behind bars to Christie Thomas. It’s something I’ve never thought about, despite my own interest with prison justice. In the Becoming section, Haben Girma’s piece on how guide dogs aren’t leading Blind people but instead are being led by them really made me pause. I had an incredible opportunity last year to spend time with Dr. Kathie Schneider, who founded and funds the Schneider Family Book Award for presentation of the disability experience in children’s literature, and she took me to the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire’s campus, wherein there’s a statue of a guide dog -- hers -- and what all it represents for the school and for the study, understanding, and humanity of those with disabilities. Girma’s essay was a reminder of how symbols mean so much more than what a general population might think they mean. This section also had a great piece by Keah Brown about Black Disabled Joy that reminded me how fantastic her writing is. Keshia Scott has a piece in this section, too, about asexuality and how it relates to the disability experience that will mean so much to queer -- especially ace -- readers. Zipporah Arielle wrote a powerful piece about why more celebrities like Selma Blair speaking up and out about disability and living visibly with it could make a tremendous impact for disability justice. Eugene Grant writes about Benjamin Lay, an abolitionist Dwarf, and how much a shame it is that people’s disabilities and bodies don’t take up more space in history books alongside what they did -- Lay’s story and experiences as a Dwarf would have changed so much, given that representation of Dwarfs in pop culture is as a joke or laughter or side kick and never central or hero. s.e. smith’s piece at the end of the book explores what it is to see a performance on stage where literally every performer is disabled, where there are interpreters for the show, and wherein nearly the entire audience is disabled as well -- and what happens when someone who is able-bodied takes the mic in that space. These essays will challenge you, whether or not you’re disabled, and they’ll be reminders of how much work there is still to do in order to make spaces accessible and welcoming to those of all disabilities, visible or not. Moreover, these pieces are a cry to center disabled voices and experiences when it comes to change and reform across all sociopolitical arenas, including in otherwise diverse spaces where disability is still not always part of an organization or movement’s mission. Necessary reading that’s easy to read cover to cover OR, like I did, pick up and put down to really think about what the pieces each said. We don’t have enough books about disability from disabled voices. This is a crucial addition to the small -- but growing -- shelf.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Geoff

    Sometimes reading is a joyful experience. Sometimes it's deeply uncomfortable. And sometimes, like this book, it's both. The essays in Disability Visibility cover the experiences, lives, rages, desires, logic, and inherent personhood of the varied contributors, all of whose lives include the fact of their disabilities. At times reading this book made me deeply uncomfortable, mostly because of the ingrained and unquestioned assumptions, misconceptions, and often negative emotional reactions that Sometimes reading is a joyful experience. Sometimes it's deeply uncomfortable. And sometimes, like this book, it's both. The essays in Disability Visibility cover the experiences, lives, rages, desires, logic, and inherent personhood of the varied contributors, all of whose lives include the fact of their disabilities. At times reading this book made me deeply uncomfortable, mostly because of the ingrained and unquestioned assumptions, misconceptions, and often negative emotional reactions that I have toward disabilities. And even worse, it highlights the fact that in my life (so far and for now) I have had the luxury of not having to worry about, advocate for, or even understand how disability, and particularly being disabled in our society, has on all aspects of life. Eye opening and well worth a read. **Thanks to the editor, publisher, and NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Siria

    Disability Visability is an anthology which brings together a variety of perspectives from disabled people on the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Some of the pieces were written specifically for this anthology while others appeared previously in print or online. As with many such collections, this is somewhat of a mixed bag. All of the pieces are clearly written from a place of passion about each author's individual experience of disability. However, some of the writers Disability Visability is an anthology which brings together a variety of perspectives from disabled people on the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Some of the pieces were written specifically for this anthology while others appeared previously in print or online. As with many such collections, this is somewhat of a mixed bag. All of the pieces are clearly written from a place of passion about each author's individual experience of disability. However, some of the writers are far stronger than others, and for every stand-out article there are a handful that at minimum needed another draft to reach their full potential. Still a worthwhile read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Christina || All My Book Clubs Are Dead

    This disability anthology is remarkable in that nearly every essay is an important read. In Wong's introduction she clarifies that this anthology may make you uncomfortable, but it isn't written to ask for your empathy. Instead it seeks to simple present disabled people "being." In all #OwnVoices books, we are able to read about a person's experience, knowing that it does not speak for every person but that it does depict, in truth, that one person's experience. This collection will undoubtedly This disability anthology is remarkable in that nearly every essay is an important read. In Wong's introduction she clarifies that this anthology may make you uncomfortable, but it isn't written to ask for your empathy. Instead it seeks to simple present disabled people "being." In all #OwnVoices books, we are able to read about a person's experience, knowing that it does not speak for every person but that it does depict, in truth, that one person's experience. This collection will undoubtedly allow you to re-think and observe your own ideas about disability, particularly if you are an able-bodied person like myself. I'm grateful for the time and care that went into creating this and compiling such a robust collection of essays. . Thanks to NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Priscilla (Bookie Charm)

    Everyone should read this. Also each essay is prefaced with content warnings.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sonaksha

    I don't think I can find enough words to recommend this book to EVERY SINGLE PERSON. Anthologies are usually tricky for me but this one - I jumped into and loved with all my heart. There was something I took from or felt deeply about in every story and it stayed with me through the days. I cried more times than I can remember because as someone living with chronic pain and mental illness, I'm not sure when the last time was that I felt so seen by a book. As I went from story to story, one thing I don't think I can find enough words to recommend this book to EVERY SINGLE PERSON. Anthologies are usually tricky for me but this one - I jumped into and loved with all my heart. There was something I took from or felt deeply about in every story and it stayed with me through the days. I cried more times than I can remember because as someone living with chronic pain and mental illness, I'm not sure when the last time was that I felt so seen by a book. As I went from story to story, one thing stayed with me: we need MORE of this in the world. Spaces created by and for disabled people - to share, be, and love. As I got to the last story, my notes told me I'd highlighted over 150 times while reading. I'm so grateful to Alice Wong for curating and editing this anthology - that will no doubt be on many bedside tables, like mine, to hold close and feel a sense of solidarity. I'm so thankful to all those who shared their stories and realities - filled with pain, pleasure, passion and pride. I want to end this gushing note (review?) for now, urging you to read this and leaving you with these powerful words from Elsa Sjunneson. I am a disabled woman. I have learned to suppress, to fold, to disappear. When I fold down my rage, I fold down myself. I make myself smaller, prettier, easier to consume.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Cavar

    Some great pieces here, but they’re interspersed with uncomfortable pseudo-advertisements (Rebirth Garments) and are least one story with a real penchant for medical/psychiatric apologism. It’s certainly worth a critical read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    An immensely important and thought provoking book. I really think every able bodied person needs to pick this one up, sit with their discomfort while reading, reflect and learn.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sora

    This was so good!!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    An indispensable collection of essays that everyone must read. Disability justice is tied with all social justice movements. We cannot keep excluding the disabled community from our collective fight for freedom. Please read this book!!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tessa

    CW: Many, they are noted at the beginning of each essay. Disability Visibility is an anthology that shares the voices and experiences of 36 people with disabilities. The different perspectives are intersectional, sharing the experiences of BIPOC people, and LGBTQ+ people. This isn’t a series of inspiring stories about people overcoming their disabilities to achieve their dreams. This is a series of mostly essays the highlight the experiences of disabled people. This book was not what I expected CW: Many, they are noted at the beginning of each essay. Disability Visibility is an anthology that shares the voices and experiences of 36 people with disabilities. The different perspectives are intersectional, sharing the experiences of BIPOC people, and LGBTQ+ people. This isn’t a series of inspiring stories about people overcoming their disabilities to achieve their dreams. This is a series of mostly essays the highlight the experiences of disabled people. This book was not what I expected going in, and I think that’s why this book is so important. I learned a lot from reading this, and it really made me think about how to be truly intersectional disability rights need to be centred. This book should be added to everyone’s reading list! Thank you to Netgalley and Vintage books for the advanced copy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Disability Visibility edited by Alice Wong is a collection of essays relaying personal experiences of disability and how they are still ignored and treated as less than. I learned so many things about the disabled experience in the United States and was often shocked by how far behind other marginalized groups they are in gaining and enforcing rights. For example, a "1927 Supreme Court case ruled that sterilization of people with disabilities is constitutional." This has still not been overturne Disability Visibility edited by Alice Wong is a collection of essays relaying personal experiences of disability and how they are still ignored and treated as less than. I learned so many things about the disabled experience in the United States and was often shocked by how far behind other marginalized groups they are in gaining and enforcing rights. For example, a "1927 Supreme Court case ruled that sterilization of people with disabilities is constitutional." This has still not been overturned and is sometimes even used as an "incentive" toward release from incarceration. Additionally, I learned that while prisons are legally required to provide Deaf prisoners with interpreters for counseling sessions, meetings with their lawyers, and education classes, they often do not. There are many types of disability represented in this collection from Deafness, blindness, wheelchair users, and the chronically ill. Not only that, but there are several essays focusing on the intersection between disability and of LGBT+ communities and ethnic minorities. Some talk about their struggle to accept the label "disabled" as they were previously able-bodied and still have ingrained ableism. Others talk about how they could do more, if only our society gave more allowances and adaptations to help meet them where they are. A few essays gave examples of how these authors are succeeding because of the creative ways they approach problems. These essays were not only illuminating to understand the struggles and conditions disabled people have on a daily basis, but I felt seen as a person who has a chronic illness. The majority of the essays either taught me something or made a deep impression on me. Alice Wong writes in the introduction, "Collectively, through our stories, our connections, and our actions, disabled people will continue to confront and transform the status quo." I feel that's exactly what this essay collection does. I gave this book 4 stars and highly recommend to everyone. This book will be published June 30, 2020. Thank you Netgalley for an advanced copy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I really enjoyed this book. I had to start off with that because I think it's important to state that I enjoyed this book and would recommend this to everyone. First the author herself is disabled, which is inspiring because there's not many authors that have disabilities. If there are then I definitely need to find out and read their books. She is also an advocate for people who have disabilities and in this book she shares stories of others and what they do to cope with their disabilities. At I really enjoyed this book. I had to start off with that because I think it's important to state that I enjoyed this book and would recommend this to everyone. First the author herself is disabled, which is inspiring because there's not many authors that have disabilities. If there are then I definitely need to find out and read their books. She is also an advocate for people who have disabilities and in this book she shares stories of others and what they do to cope with their disabilities. At first I thought it was alot like the Chicken Soup For The Soul books but once I got into it I realized that it's not the case. I give this book five stars i would recommend it and possibly reread again. I thank netgalley and the publishers for letting me read this in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    RuthAnn

    RECOMMENDED July is Disability Pride Month, and I am so grateful to Kendra for sending me this excellent anthology of essays about disability. The pieces are diverse in perspective, topic, and format, and the reading experience was very enlightening. Multiple times throughout the collection, contributors remark that anyone can become disabled at any time. That was very powerful for me, not as a threat, but as a reminder to appreciate the precariousness of life and intentionally recognize our shar RECOMMENDED July is Disability Pride Month, and I am so grateful to Kendra for sending me this excellent anthology of essays about disability. The pieces are diverse in perspective, topic, and format, and the reading experience was very enlightening. Multiple times throughout the collection, contributors remark that anyone can become disabled at any time. That was very powerful for me, not as a threat, but as a reminder to appreciate the precariousness of life and intentionally recognize our shared humanity. My takeaway is not so much "cherish every moment" but more about the wider question of human rights and the power of communities to care for each other. I love the extensive section in the book on further reading, and I'm looking forward to continuing my learning. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone in medicine, education, or social work, as well as curious learners who would like to add the perspectives of the disabled community to their world view. --- ... to learn about those who may come from different communities and yet be as human as you - to learn how to affirm, love, and fit with and for them. In doing so, we will love ourselves more deeply and move the world faster toward collective justice and liberation ... (Talila A. Lewis, "For Ki'tay D. Davidson, Who Loves Us") ... the reason to add disability justice to social justice is not just because it's another element of diversity or representation, but rather because disability justice (and disability itself) has the potential to fundamentally transform everything we think about quality of life, purpose, work, relationships, and belonging. (Stacey Milbern, "On the Ancestral Plane")

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Landhuis

    A wide array of essays on disability, all from a first-person perspective, on issues ranging from accessibility in public transport to the role of disability justice in larger social movements to the experience of being a writer with bipolar disorder. Alice Wong has curated an impressive collection that highlights the intersection between disability and race, class, gender, and sexuality. The book also includes a well-curated "Further Reading" section, with suggestions for fiction, nonfiction, p A wide array of essays on disability, all from a first-person perspective, on issues ranging from accessibility in public transport to the role of disability justice in larger social movements to the experience of being a writer with bipolar disorder. Alice Wong has curated an impressive collection that highlights the intersection between disability and race, class, gender, and sexuality. The book also includes a well-curated "Further Reading" section, with suggestions for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and online resources, making it a great introduction and jumping-off point for learning about disability justice.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    This diverse collection of essays (from a wonderfully equally diverse group of authors) is fantastic! There is a lot of valuable information here. Additionally, there is a "Further Reading" section at the back of the book with more resources. No matter how much you know (or think you know) on a subject, there is always more to learn. There are so many varied human experiences, that it's important to seek out and be open to lived experiences of people with different experiences than yours or mine This diverse collection of essays (from a wonderfully equally diverse group of authors) is fantastic! There is a lot of valuable information here. Additionally, there is a "Further Reading" section at the back of the book with more resources. No matter how much you know (or think you know) on a subject, there is always more to learn. There are so many varied human experiences, that it's important to seek out and be open to lived experiences of people with different experiences than yours or mine. And seeing your own experiences in writing, and accurately represented, can be empowering. Content warnings are included at the beginning of individual essays. If a subject is triggering for you, you are able to flip past that essay and move on to the next. Definitely pick up a copy - you won't regret it! Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC! The opinions in this review are honest and my own. #DisabilityVisibility #ownvoices

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    '...the reason to add disability justice to social justice is not just because it’s another element of diversity or representation, but rather because disability justice (and disability itself) has the potential to fundamentally transform everything we think about quality of life, purpose, work, relationships, belonging.' - Stacey Milbern Before reading this anthology I have never educated myself in great detail about disability and the lives of these marginalised individuals. Alice Wong's collec '...the reason to add disability justice to social justice is not just because it’s another element of diversity or representation, but rather because disability justice (and disability itself) has the potential to fundamentally transform everything we think about quality of life, purpose, work, relationships, belonging.' - Stacey Milbern Before reading this anthology I have never educated myself in great detail about disability and the lives of these marginalised individuals. Alice Wong's collection of different writers has been a great look into the challenges and lives of disabled people. Every short story had a different take and educated me in different ways. One article that really stood out for me was 'To Survive Climate Catastrophe, Look to Queer and Disabled Folks' by Patty Berne, as told to an edited by Vanessa Raditz. This specific article really sparked an enlightenment and interest because I have a great passion for the environment and never thought to make this particular connection. 4/5

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nodis Isweird

    A book with all the emotions, food for thought and so rare. It's an important read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lexi (Reads and Riesling)

    This collection is the most intersectional essay collection I have ever read. Writers from a wide range of disability, race, religion, and gender and sexual orientation shared their experiences with no holds barred. The openness of these writers was truly special and lovely to read. The essays were honest and raw, but hopeful and full of joy. This is the best essay collection I’ve ever read and I would recommend it to every single person. This is the book you should read. Thank you to Knopf Doubl This collection is the most intersectional essay collection I have ever read. Writers from a wide range of disability, race, religion, and gender and sexual orientation shared their experiences with no holds barred. The openness of these writers was truly special and lovely to read. The essays were honest and raw, but hopeful and full of joy. This is the best essay collection I’ve ever read and I would recommend it to every single person. This is the book you should read. Thank you to Knopf Doubleday and NetGalley for access to this e-ARC.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Casey the Reader

    Thanks to Vintage Books for the free advance copy of this book. DISABILITY VISIBILITY is a collection of first-person writings about life as a disabled person in the United States today. It includes essays, speeches, blog posts and more and touches on a wide variety of topics, from the difficulty of finding clothing that works to riding public transit to the fight to be seen as fully human. If you are a non-disabled person looking to learn more about what it's like to move through the world as a Thanks to Vintage Books for the free advance copy of this book. DISABILITY VISIBILITY is a collection of first-person writings about life as a disabled person in the United States today. It includes essays, speeches, blog posts and more and touches on a wide variety of topics, from the difficulty of finding clothing that works to riding public transit to the fight to be seen as fully human. If you are a non-disabled person looking to learn more about what it's like to move through the world as a disabled person, or if you are a disabled person looking to find yourself on the page, I think this book is the book for you. Each essay brought out a new facet of disabled life, and this book brings special attention to people with multiple marginalizations - disabled and queer, disabled and BIPOC, people with multiple disabilities, and much more. DISABILITY VISIBILITY is also easy to read - it's not full of academic terms, it's not written with the intent to shut anyone out of the conversation. It's truly a great resource for anyone, something we need much more of when it comes to the stories of disabled people. Content warnings: Many of the essays have content warnings at the top, and there are a lot of difficult ableism-related things discussed in this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mandy Hazen

    This book should be read by everyone. We are so unaware of what people of different abilities go through and make no efforts to make anything easier for anyone. Let us open our hearts and ears to listen and learn. The short stories here allowed the reader to truly access multiple points of view and really educate fully. Highly recommend. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn

    This anthology was revolutionary. All the individual voices, stories, poems, essays are distinct and unique, yet part of a collective that wraps you in its arms and demands to be heard. It will be impossible to ever capture the entire essence of disability justice and of the disabled experience, but this book sure comes close – as close as one can get. Some of my favorites: - "Unspeakable Conversations" by the brilliant and honest Harriet McBryde Johnson, who confronts the renowned Princeton Phi This anthology was revolutionary. All the individual voices, stories, poems, essays are distinct and unique, yet part of a collective that wraps you in its arms and demands to be heard. It will be impossible to ever capture the entire essence of disability justice and of the disabled experience, but this book sure comes close – as close as one can get. Some of my favorites: - "Unspeakable Conversations" by the brilliant and honest Harriet McBryde Johnson, who confronts the renowned Princeton Philosophy Professor Peter Singer on his beliefs that animal lives are worth more than disabled lives - "We Can't Go Back" by Ricardo T. Thornton Sr., who speaks before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions describing his own experiences in institutions for the intellectually & developmentally disabled and arguing for the permanent elimination of these institutions - "Canfei to Canji" by Sandy Ho, who grapples with her experience as an Asian American disabled woman, and the cultural narratives that define worthy and unworthy bodies. "I am a culmination of old East Asian attitudes and new immigrant possibilities," she writes. "My identity began with an American ideology of belonging and an existence that ties me to some divine test for my parents. I cannot separate one set of meanings from the other." Taking up space as a disabled person is always revolutionary - "Last but Not Least– Embracing Asexuality" by Keshia Scott, who explores her sexuality, amidst the constraints of ableist stereotypes. - "Why My Novel is Dedicated to My Disabled Friend Maddy" by A.H. Reaume, who speaks beautifully about his friendship with Maddy – both of them sharing the common experience of living with brain injuries – and how she helped him finish writing his novel. I loved this piece's discussion of interdependence, and I wanted to share an except: "My book has been shaped by Maddy's hands and her brilliant disabled brain. Its pages hold her fingerprints. They sit there lightly on top of the deep imprints of my own fingers. This is disabled poetics. This is disabled praxis. It's about interdependence. I couldn't do it alone, but I did it with her help. She needed flexible work, and I gave that to her. It's part of the ethics of care and support that so many disabled people show one another. It's a kind of love that I hadn't known existed before my disability. It's fierce and patient and tender and rare. It's what disabled people give one another because we wish the able-bodied world had given it to us... Independence is a fairy tale that late capitalism tells in order to shift the responsibility for care and support from community and state to individuals and families. But not everyone has the personal capacity, and not everyone has the family support. And the stories we tell about bootstraps tell us that it's the fault of an individual if they don't thrive. They're just not trying hard enough." - "The Antiabortion Bill You Aren't Hearing About" by Rebecca Cokley, who discusses her opposition to a Texas Senate Bill that would disallow those who are pregnant from having an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy when there is "severe fetal abnormality". She grapples with the difficult truth that "... to be a pro-choice disabled person who understands that believing in your bodily autonomy means you have to support the idea that other people – your friends, your peers, your siblings – may choose to abort a pregnancy because their child could be like you." She makes great points about the political messaging around abortion & how disability is framed within this narrative; how those who support antiabortion legislation often use rhetoric that infantilizes people with IDD & use disabled people as props. - "Falling/Burning" by Shoshana Kessock, who describes the pressure for bipolar artists to "suffer for their art". - "On NYC's Paratransit" by Britney Wilson, a striking narrative about inaccessibility, crude treatment, and disrespect within NYC's public transport system for disabled people. Some of the most beautiful lines came from the last (and my favorite) section of the book, "Connecting": - From Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's "Still Dreaming Wild Disability Justice Dreams": "I'm talking about the small, huge, everyday ways we dream crip revolutions, which stretch from me looking at myself in the mirror– disheveled and hurting on day five of a major pain flare and saying, You know what, I'm not going to hate you today – to making disabled homes, disabled kinship, and community networks and disabled ways of loving, fighting, and organizing that not even the most talented abled could in a million years dream up" - Or from Jamison Hill's love story "Love Means Never Having to Say...Anything": "I wasn't sure what was worse: the emotional torment of not being able to speak or the physical pain of trying. After everything I had been through – the months of struggling to stay alive in my sickbed– and finally finding the love of my life, I couldn't tell Shannon that I loved her. Lucky for me, I didn't have to."

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nikoleta

    Disability Visibility is a collection of essays from Own Voices all the way from activists to everyday people. There are informative essays, heartwarming essays, and truly heartbreaking essays. Separated into four parts - Being, Becoming, Doing, and Connecting each essay reflects on the theme from that part while being deeply personal. I have Multiple Sclerosis so I'm no stranger to chronic illness but it was really great to read about so many different people and their experiences with not only Disability Visibility is a collection of essays from Own Voices all the way from activists to everyday people. There are informative essays, heartwarming essays, and truly heartbreaking essays. Separated into four parts - Being, Becoming, Doing, and Connecting each essay reflects on the theme from that part while being deeply personal. I have Multiple Sclerosis so I'm no stranger to chronic illness but it was really great to read about so many different people and their experiences with not only their specific limitations but also disability as a whole. My biggest take away is how truly inspirational all of these essays are. Each one sparked something in me either by inspiring me to physically do something (many of the people here are writers or artists which I connect with deeply) or by making me rethink things. It's very easy to get stuck in a rut when you're seemingly constantly dealing with new symptoms that derail your life at every turn and seeing different perspectives is a great take away. A very important addition to this book and one I wish was more normalized is at the beginning of each section there are content warnings. These are so important especially in books like this that are very raw and real because even with them the emotions that the writing evoke are huge. I think this is really important for everyone to read but able bodied people can especially learn a lot from it to understand just how unseen you can feel if you have a disability. In the Introduction, Editor Alice Wong mentions that this anthology will most likely make you feel uncomfortable and that is something very important to keep in mind. These essays are not meant to be easily digestible and they're meant to make you uncomfortable and make you think. The Further Reading section at the end is an amazing resource and I'm so glad it was included because I'm always looking for more sources and this breaks it down into categories from non-fiction to poetry and everything in between. ARC provided by NetGalley and the Publisher

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bunni

    I really enjoyed the many perspectives in this anthology, the way the authors are able to construct their worlds for us in such short spaces. I especially related to the discussions on the complexity of identity as a person with a disability, from motherhood and family, career, sexuality, gender, religion, to art and pleasure. As well as how we journey through life with these complexities, while also having to continually validate ourselves and educate those who don't understand and those who es I really enjoyed the many perspectives in this anthology, the way the authors are able to construct their worlds for us in such short spaces. I especially related to the discussions on the complexity of identity as a person with a disability, from motherhood and family, career, sexuality, gender, religion, to art and pleasure. As well as how we journey through life with these complexities, while also having to continually validate ourselves and educate those who don't understand and those who especially don't seem to want to understand. It was all around a great collection, but not quite a five star as there were some eyerolling historical fallacies in a few essays, which swayed me off the path, but, ultimately did not stop me from grasping the full intention of the works. Also, I may say I was a disappointed that there were no essays regarding learning disabilities. I have moderate dyscalculia and I am always looking for adequate representation, especially in academia. I only know the story of one other person who has been through college with a similar diagnoses. It took me 6 years full-time, no job, to achieve my bachelors in psych, because of all the math classes I had to retake while also threatening a lawsuit due to the incompetency of my first college in supplying adequate and accessible accommodations. Though, I did empathize heavily with several of the women with invisible disabilities in having to constantly educate, tolerate ignorance, ask for actual help and receive babying, and of course just not being believed. I really hoped for some representation of learning disabilities also as it effects our ability, either cognitive or social, to achieve our goals or live the lifestyle we desire the same as other invisible disabilities do. Especially in trying to function as a professional woman when you aren't taken as seriously and must consistently prove the worth of your intellect or be treated as a baby or "special". Just because, yes, I need a calculator to do simple addition.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shaelene (aGirlWithBookss)

    I'm a 25-year-old disabled Chronically ill woman living with Chronic Pain, and Lyme disease. Going into this book I knew it was going to be a bit of a heavy and emotional topic, and with it being a collection of essays I expected to maybe dislike a few of the essays. However, that was not the case. I ended up loving all the essays I read. They all gave me so many emotions, from anger to sadness, bewilderment, happiness, empathy, and understanding. This is not your typical essay collection. The vo I'm a 25-year-old disabled Chronically ill woman living with Chronic Pain, and Lyme disease. Going into this book I knew it was going to be a bit of a heavy and emotional topic, and with it being a collection of essays I expected to maybe dislike a few of the essays. However, that was not the case. I ended up loving all the essays I read. They all gave me so many emotions, from anger to sadness, bewilderment, happiness, empathy, and understanding. This is not your typical essay collection. The voices in this collection are incredibly diverse- Black voices, Latino voices, Asian voices, Native voices, Muslim voices, LGBTQIA+ voices- and every single one of them live with a disability or Chronic Illness that has impacted their lives. With this diverse set of voices, we see how disability is different for different people, both personally and culturally. I don't think I can even find all the words to express just how amazing this collection of essays is, how impactful, and how widely read this book needs to be. So often disabled voices are forgotten, dismissed, and talked over. We're not even the second thought or the last thought when diversity is discussed- for too long we have be left out and pushed to the side for people to gawk at. NO MORE. If you think you read diversely, then think again- you are not diverse if you are excluding the voices of Disabled people. Read this and educate yourself. Then you will see why we still have a lot of work to do, society needs to catch the hell up and stop ignoring our voices and our rights. 5 stars- hell, a hundred stars. This has been one of the most impactful books I’ve ever read. I will 100% be getting myself a copy, and I will never shut up about this book. ** ARC provided by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century is an anthology of thirty-seven personal essays collected and edited by Alice Wong, a self-described "disabled activist" brings together diverse perspectives in an anthology published on the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. For the most part, I rather like most if not all of these contributions. Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century is an anthology that collected t Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century is an anthology of thirty-seven personal essays collected and edited by Alice Wong, a self-described "disabled activist" brings together diverse perspectives in an anthology published on the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. For the most part, I rather like most if not all of these contributions. Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century is an anthology that collected thirty-seven personal essays that explore being disabled in the twenty-first century. The book is divided into four sections. "Being" captures writings that explain the daily challenges of wrestling with a disability. In "Becoming," the essays focus less on defining a specific disability and more on how the contributors have figured out how to follow a life-affirming path. "Doing" displays the accomplishments that affect not only the anthologists, but also society at large. The final section, "Connecting," illuminates how those labeled as disabled find ways to transcend isolation. Like most anthologies there are weaker contributions and Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century may be the exception. Granted it is far from perfect and there are some personal essays better than others, but the meaning throughout the essays permutated through such minor problems, which didn't detract my overall enjoyment of the anthology. All in all, Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century is a wonderful collection of personal essays that are bolstered by the activism that shines through, will educate and inspire readers.

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