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Such a pretty girl : a story of struggle, empowerment, and disability pride / Nadina LaSpina.

By: LaSpina, Nadina.
Publisher: New York, NY : New Village Press, 2019Copyright date: 2019Edition: First edition.Description: x, 338 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.Content type: text | still image Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781613320990.Subject(s): LaSpina, Nadina | DISABILITY | AUTOBIOGRAPHY | POLIOMYELITIS | CIVIL RIGHTS | SELF ADVOCACY | UNITED STATES OF AMERICA | DISABILITY PRIDE | DISABILITY RIGHTS | ACTIVISMGenre/Form: Biography.
Contents:
PART I: Che Peccato: what a shame. - 1. Riposto. - 2. The best hospital. - 3. Blood sisters. - 4. Blythedale. - 5. The real world. - 6. Better off. - 7. A place where I never want to go back. - PART II: FIGHTING BACK. - 8. We can fight for out rights. - 9. Just one of the graduate students. - 10. The handicapped teacher. - 11. Amputation. - 12. You do what you have to do. - 13. Not a real cheery picture. - PART III: LOVE AND ACTIVISM. - 14. Love and activism on two continents. - 15. Free our people. - 16. No need to settle. - 17. The handsome new guy. - 18. Dead of winter. - 19. Danny. - 20. Crips are beautiful. - PART IV: Come Sono Contento: How happy I am. - 21. Vado Via Contento: I'm going away happy. - 22. Come Sono Contenta: How happy I am. - 23. Thank you, life. - 24. I promise we'll have fun. - 25. Riposto. - Epilogue. - Acknowledgements
Summary: Such a Pretty Girl is Nadina LaSpina's story--from her early years in her native Sicily, where still a baby she contracts polio, a fact that makes her the object of well-meaning pity and the target of messages of hopelessness; to her adolescence and youth in America, spent almost entirely in hospitals, where she is tortured in the quest for a cure and made to feel that her body no longer belongs to her; to her rebellion and her activism in the disability rights movement. LaSpina's personal growth parallels the movement's political development--from coming together, organizing, and fighting against exclusion from public and social life, to the forging of a common identity, the blossoming of disability arts and culture, and the embracing of disability pride. While unique, the author's journey is also one with which many disabled people can identify. It is the journey to find one's place in an ableist world--a world not made for disabled people, where disability is only seen in negative terms. La Spina refutes all stereotypical narratives of disability. Through the telling of her life's story, without editorializing, she shows the harm that the overwhelming focus on pity and on a cure that remains elusive has done to disabled people. Her story exposes the disability prejudice ingrained in our sociopolitical system and denounces the oppressive standards of normalcy in a society that devalues those who are different and denies them basic rights. Written as continuous narrative and in a subtle and intimate voice, Such a Pretty Girl is a memoir as captivating as a novel. It is one of the few disability memoirs to focus on activism, and one of the first by an immigrant.
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PART I: Che Peccato: what a shame. - 1. Riposto. - 2. The best hospital. - 3. Blood sisters. - 4. Blythedale. - 5. The real world. - 6. Better off. - 7. A place where I never want to go back. - PART II: FIGHTING BACK. - 8. We can fight for out rights. - 9. Just one of the graduate students. - 10. The handicapped teacher. - 11. Amputation. - 12. You do what you have to do. - 13. Not a real cheery picture. - PART III: LOVE AND ACTIVISM. - 14. Love and activism on two continents. - 15. Free our people. - 16. No need to settle. - 17. The handsome new guy. - 18. Dead of winter. - 19. Danny. - 20. Crips are beautiful. - PART IV: Come Sono Contento: How happy I am. - 21. Vado Via Contento: I'm going away happy. - 22. Come Sono Contenta: How happy I am. - 23. Thank you, life. - 24. I promise we'll have fun. - 25. Riposto. - Epilogue. - Acknowledgements

Such a Pretty Girl is Nadina LaSpina's story--from her early years in her native Sicily, where still a baby she contracts polio, a fact that makes her the object of well-meaning pity and the target of messages of hopelessness; to her adolescence and youth in America, spent almost entirely in hospitals, where she is tortured in the quest for a cure and made to feel that her body no longer belongs to her; to her rebellion and her activism in the disability rights movement. LaSpina's personal growth parallels the movement's political development--from coming together, organizing, and fighting against exclusion from public and social life, to the forging of a common identity, the blossoming of disability arts and culture, and the embracing of disability pride. While unique, the author's journey is also one with which many disabled people can identify. It is the journey to find one's place in an ableist world--a world not made for disabled people, where disability is only seen in negative terms. La Spina refutes all stereotypical narratives of disability. Through the telling of her life's story, without editorializing, she shows the harm that the overwhelming focus on pity and on a cure that remains elusive has done to disabled people. Her story exposes the disability prejudice ingrained in our sociopolitical system and denounces the oppressive standards of normalcy in a society that devalues those who are different and denies them basic rights. Written as continuous narrative and in a subtle and intimate voice, Such a Pretty Girl is a memoir as captivating as a novel. It is one of the few disability memoirs to focus on activism, and one of the first by an immigrant.

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