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Life Prints: A Memoir of Healing and Discovery (The Cross-Cultural Memoir Series) Hardcover – June 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: The Cross-Cultural Memoir Series
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY; 1 edition (June 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558612378
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558612372
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,174,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

A professor of literature and women's studies and the author of numerous books, short stories, articles, and essays, Mason chronicles in seamless prose her own journeys as a person with a disability who constantly tried to pass as "able-bodied," as a woman scholar and writer who struggled to advance her career in male-dominated academia, and as a mother and writer's wife who searched for intellectual and creative outlets appropriate to her interests and education. In her quest for role models for herself and other women writers, she followed the work of her feminist contemporaries and of African American women writers. She also found" women writers we had lost-the voices we had buried or had not yet discovered." In 1982, the author put her scholarly research into action, heading a grant-funded program, "Women in Transition," for divorced and widowed women entering the job market. Subsequently, she became involved in the disability rights movement (Mason had contracted polio as a child). She eloquently describes how she gradually integrated the professional and personal roles that had so often been separate in her life. She ends her memoirs triumphantly, claiming proudly her identity as a feminist writer with a disability. Highly recommended for all women's studies and disability studies collections.
Ximena Chrisagis, Wright State Univ. Lib., Dayton
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Publisher

"Life Prints is a compelling and evocative story of a woman's life - her pleasures, work, passions and losses. Mason's focus on strength and healing tell a fresh disability story, however. What we see her overcoming is not the burden of her physical disability, but rather the often crushing burden to get better, to be cured, as family and society relentlessly demand of her." - Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, author of Extraordinary Bodies: Figuring Disability in American Culture and Literature

"I empathize with Mary Mason's attempts to suppress her inconvenient double selves and disappear into the worlds of the able bodied and of men's authority. I was elated when she could not assimilate in either body or soul. I cheered when she recognized herself as a woman, a feminist, a writer and a person who owned the effects of polio on her body. Because of her new purchase on life, I look forward to another Mary Mason memoir in ten years. I come away from the book ready for more." - Peggy McIntosh, Wellesley College Center for Research on Women


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on February 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Life Prints: A Memoir Of Healing And Discovery is the story of Mary Grimley, who at the age of 6 years became America's first "poster child", dining with President Roosevelt at the Warm Springs rehabilitation center and posing in her wheelchair for publicity shots. Mary went on to became a remarkable scholar in the 1950s and 60s, refusing to focus on her disability and making herself a part of the revolution of ideas. Mason has spent her life struggling against the common cultural prejudice against disabled people, including the sexism of mentors, friends, family, and even herself. It was only after many years of physical therapy and social isolation, that she could emerge from the social and psychological handicaps imposed upon her because of her physical disability to embrace feminism, discover her life's work, and come to terms with herself. Life Prints is a candid, revealing, informative, and exceptionally well written autobiography that is highly recommended for women's studies and disability issues reading lists.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Mason's account of her extraordinarily rich and productive life--traveler, educator, writer as well as wife and mother--makes us question our conventional response to what constitutes a "disability." Despite her inability to walk without crutches, Mason covered more ground than many able-bodied contemporaries. The book is a revelation and inspiration.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This memoir is an inspiring insight into the personal life of a successful professor of English literature at a woman's college in Boston.
We gradually discover that her cheerful outward appearance at times masks a deep and profound private pain. The revelations in this book make it a spellbinding read.
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