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Dwarf: A Memoir Paperback – November 27, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (November 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452298113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452298118
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #806,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Most people eventually learn that not only does the world not revolve around them but it doesn’t even bend to their liking. While some never learn, DiDonato had to face these hard truths sooner and more cruelly than others. Born with a relatively rare genetic disorder called diastrophic dysplasia, at 11 she was not much taller than a preschooler. With dwarfishly shortened arms and legs, DiDonato was unable to perform even such simple tasks as flipping on a light switch or getting a carton of milk from the middle shelf of a refrigerator, much less brush her own hair and tend to personal hygiene. The independence most preteens enjoy was impossible for her. Her physical want of stature and reach, however, did not extend to the length and breadth of her grit and determination. So she endured several torturous surgical procedures to increase her height by an astonishing fourteen inches. DiDonato’s dramatic memoir is testament to the realist’s view of life—use every tool in your toolbox to adjust to the world around you. --Donna Chavez

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Customer Reviews

The book is well written and flows beautifully.
Susan Miles
I picked up this memoir on a Saturday afternoon and immediately sat down and read it cover to cover.
Pipes
I love her attitude and determination, awesome!
A. Abell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Susan Miles on November 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am not normally a reader of non-fiction but was intrigued by the author's blurb. The book is well written and flows beautifully. Tiffanie is a courageous person who had extremely painful body altering long term surgery to be able to do what she considered necessary to live a full life. With both tough love and compassion her parents stood by her side and supported her. From her birth to her dream marriage Tiffanie was determined to live a life where she did not have to scoot down stairs on her backside and be able to brush her hair. The book covers her schooling, friendships, college and professional life. I was overwhelmed by the work she did ensuring that our military was supplied with care packages. The book is a fast read and an honest read - all was not a bed of roses. I highly recommend DWARF as a true story of not only overcoming adversity but of the author's determination to make her own decision about her own body.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mary G. Henderson on November 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a parent of a child with a skeletal dysplasia, I was so excited to read this. It is really great to see a book on having short stature, outside of the world of the LPA and by someone who does not define herself by her stature. I was just thrilled by the first few pages where she talks about how ridiculous it is to label someone, as people of short stature are just that - people!! There's no need to give them a label. As a mom faced with the same decisions that the author's mom faced, this was an incredible read and I can't wait to share it with the rest of my family. I read it in one sitting - written very well and a page turner.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Virginia S. Sargent on August 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just finished Tiffanie DiDonato's Book Dwarf a Memoir. I have to say how much I loved this book, and found a kindred spirit.

Through the difficult years of Tiffanie's surgery and lengthening; things were hard, life was hard. But, bravo to Tiff's mum to see that there is an opportunity to change Tiffanie's life for the better and she acted on it. You know, it is easy to say that this procedure sends waves through the dwarf community because of the perceived message that being small (or dwarf)is some thing you should not change, but to embrace. I think that rational stops when in your heart it is about making a better quality of life.

Being a dwarf myself; had this procedure been around when I was Tiffianie's age my parents may have opted it for me as well. Not for betterment, to deny who I am. But, as common practice to make my life easier and not so dependent on others. When I needed orthopedic surgery to make my life less painful, they didn't bat an eye. Even now doctors will give you the risk (of any orthopedic surgery) and you know that is the risk parents take for their children to make their life easier, or for the teen who knows that having independence in their future is achievable.

I have been friends with many dwarfs and their stature. Tiffanie has diastrophic dysplasia. I am 4'2" and I would most likely towered over her (before lengthening) If you can imagine this: At all times there has to be someone to assist in your every day situations or adaptive things like stools, grabbers, and personal items. Not that I am saying that to be a Diastrophic dwarf is incompatible to independent living, it is just a whole lot harder. But, if you could find another way to help you live better, I know I would go for it. (I am too old now!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MommyK on December 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dwarf was happy, sad, emotional and made you feel like you were living alongside Tiffanie through her struggles. She is a courageous young woman who has a gift with words. Her story is told with raw emotion and honesty. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her journey.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Gaul on December 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When is it right to accept what life hands us, and when is it right to change ones course? When is it right to put a child through pain and risks of medical complications? What benefits are worth horrible pain, social isolation, and the loss of a good part of adolescence? Ms DiDonato's new memoir, Dwarf, addresses these questions and answers them beautifully - for herself. I appreciated and enjoyed many things about this book, perhaps most of all the fact that she never slipped into generalizing her decisions to anyone else. She brought her friends and family to life with honest, revealing stories that stayed compassionate to the difficult and heart-rending decisions that were made about her and around her. This is a lovely book that is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking, and serves as a great reminder of the ease with which most of us go about our daily lives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By groupworker on March 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I mainly read memoirs and I usually judge from the first few pages if the book is 1) well written (many memoirs are not) and 1) if is it a unique story. I am particularly drawn to those who have dealt with challenges, however, there are just too many memoirs about abusive parents or alcoholism. Tiffanie's story is overall an excellent memoir. It's a life experience that few can understand. She explains what it is like to not only feel different, but to really be different in terms of what is considered normal in our society. A good memoir also has an element of wanting more - specifically more about her high school best friend, more about her father's family. Yet, I would rather read a memoir where I want more, than feel overwhelmed or bored by the story. Her tenacity is remarkable and I hope the true happiness she found as a young adult continues. Immediately after reading the book I watched a few of her interviews online. Dwarf is not a masterpiece memoir. It is an easy read that will stay with you for years to come.
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