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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Book review: David M. Perry on 'The Secret Life of Stories'

David M. Perry is a disability rights journalist and associate professor of history at Dominican University. Michael Bérubé is a professor of literature at Pennsylvania State University, where he teaches American literature, disability studies, and cultural studies. Both are fathers of sons with Down syndrome.

Narrative Deployments of Disability
Los Angeles Review of Books, 6 April 2016
... Bérubé has organized his work into three main chapters: motive, time, and self-awareness. The first chapter examines (borrowing theorist Ato Quayson’s term) the ways intellectual disability serves as the “ethical core” of narratives, starting with Harry Potter. The great saga of the wizard world is not about intellectual disability, but all the action, Bérubé argues, ultimately stems from Albus Dumbledore’s reactions to his sister’s disability and disability-related death. Here, then, lies a perfect example of Bérubé’s argument that disability infuses literary production in ways that a reader, indeed, an author, might miss. Intellectual disability functions as motive, even if none of the main characters are disabled ...

  • Another review of The Secret Life of Stories
Grappling with Intellectual Disability - Michael Bérubé’s The Secret Life of Stories, Manuel Betancourt,  Slant Magazine, 9 February 2016
  • Previous posts referencing Michael Bérubé's work are here and here

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