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Extraordinary Bodies: Figuring Physical Disability in American Culture and Literature Paperback – April 15, 1996

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A well-written and provocative beginning to a conversation about disability that is long overdue among scholars in literary and cultural studies.

Review

Provides complex answers to the puzzle of American images of disabilities from the nineteenth century to the present. This is a solid, useful book which all readers interested in the relationship between society and culture must read.

(Sander L. Gilman, University of Chicago)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; 1st edition (April 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231105177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231105170
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #779,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Rosemarie Garland Thomson has written a book that is groundbreaking and essential reading for anyone interested in the fields of disability theory, disability studies, and literary criticism. She has skillfully examined how the figure of the disabled body has been used in literature in different periods as a marker or boundary line for defining what the "normal" body is or should be. The disabled figure operates to displace anxiety from more "normal" folks, and in the process shows how what we consider to be normal functioning changes across historical periods and cultures. Thomson also compares the disabled figure to the cyborg, as both are figures that are not seen as "natural," and both are places/signifiers where we can then interrogate what the natural is, has been thought to be, and what it could include. This is an excellent book, and should not be missed.
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This is a comprehensive and well written book about issues facing those with physical disabilities. Very interesting to look at persons experiencing disability as a social issue, not a medical one. Well researched.
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A treasure trove of informative details about "those" we prefer hidden from view. In answer to questions concerning unsightly beggars, fake mendiants, have been addressed to in a previous century.
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