REVIEWS G. Thomas Couser. Signifying Bodies: Disability in Contemporary Life Writing. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2009. 216 pp. ISBN 978-0472050697, $27.95. G. Thomas Couser is indisputably the world’s leading expert on disability life writing. His Recovering Bodies: Illness, Disability and Life Writing, published in 1997, was the ﬁ rst study to group together a diverse range of autobiographi- cal texts under the category of disability memoir. His next book, Vulnerable Subjects: Ethics and Life-Writing (2004), focuses on ethical issues particularly relevant to the lives and deaths of disabled people, such as genetic screening and euthanasia. Couser’s new book, Signifying Bodies: Disability in Contem- porary Life Writing, does considerably more than simply add new texts to the cannon of this subgenre. In this new volume, he argues persuasively that dis- ability in life writing illuminates a host of provocative questions for anyone interested in biographical and autobiographical literature. And beyond this, these texts raise issues for public policy, law, civil rights, and bioethics that should be vitally signiﬁ cant to any reader. If life writing poses questions about what constitutes a life worth writing down, disabled autobiographers intensify the question to ask what kind of life is worth
Biography – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Oct 30, 2010
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