From Publishers Weekly
In this compelling but unbalanced work, the father of a young girl with dwarfism explores how her condition shapes her life as well as his. Kennedy, a journalist by trade, leaves few aspects of being a little person unexplored-from circus history and the fate of a Jewish dwarf in Nazi Germany to the current-day exploitation of little people in porn films and the annual convention of the Little People of America. Kennedy doesn't shy away from difficult issues, including the proper terminology for a little person, whether dwarves qualify as disabled, and the ethical question of terminating a fetus carrying the gene for dwarfism. But though Kennedy interviews a staggering number of people, we rarely hear his daughter's voice, making it difficult for readers to "see the world through Becky's eyes," as the subtitle suggests they will. In many ways, this account is more about Becky's effect on Kennedy's life than it is about her own. "The truth is that dwarfism has been a lot better for me than it's been for Becky," he writes. Kennedy's honesty about his difficulty raising Becky is refreshing, but he can occasionally appear emotionally removed. While his straightforward prose style avoids self-pity, it also, unfortunately, often fails to convey warmth. Still, Kennedy offers provocative commentary on the danger of relying on charitable rather than government-funded care for disabled children, and a deep critique of a "culture in which the disabled and their families are seen as being somehow responsible for their own misfortunes." 16-page photo insert.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"So much for us to consider as we go through this extraordinary book-- how fate and chance determine the circumstances of our lives-- all told in wonderfully affecting and summoning language by a thoughtful and introspectively energetic father and writer who shares with us a family's life and in so doing helps us to become his companions in human understanding."--Robert Coles, best-selling author of The Moral Intelligence of Children and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Children of Crisis
"Dan Kennedy writes in a friendly, trustworthy voice about difficult topics: difference, prejudice, and disability. Little People has the form of memoir and the effect of social commentary. Its power is cumulative. Using his own parental anxiety and curiosity as a bridge, Kennedy makes unfamiliar experience accessible."--Peter D. Kramer, best-selling author of Listening to Prozac and Spectacular Happiness