Book review: Growing Up Disabled in Australia

edited by Carly Findlay

"Growing Up Disabled in Australia" book, with a bright and colourful cover, nestled against a dark brown/black dog curled up on a grey cushion.

So excited to hear that this valuable book is speaking to people and it’s already hit its second print run within two weeks of release!

 

In so-called Australia, and arguably in many countries beyond, there are particular dominant societal narratives framing disability. Even seven years after her passing, Stella Young’s challenge to the insistence in positioning those daring to live with disability as being inherently inspirational continues to need reiteration, exploration, and amplification. This collection of stories, poetic works, dialogical musings and reminiscent invitations into deeply personal journeys reflect the considerable diversity and nuances that are the reality of growing up and living disabled. There’s often an inclination toward a simplistic monolithic representation of disability, whether the pitiable or the heroic. With vulnerability, passion, kindness, anger, eloquence, and without serving up trauma for convenient consumption, this book defies the myth that there is a single way to be disabled.

Expansively inclusive, editor and disability rights activist Carly Findlay has brought together contributions which generously share insights to both ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ disabilities, evolving and dynamic disabilities, rare, and stigmatised disabilities. Perhaps most importantly, it reveals the fullness of 47 people who grew up disabled. Each writer evokes a compelling sense of voice and have made it beautifully easy to want to listen. Readers may be heartened or surprised at how many ways they see themselves and their own loved ones reflected in the narratives shared within these colourful covers.

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