Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women's Speculative Fiction

Duke University Press
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In Bodyminds Reimagined Sami Schalk traces how black women's speculative fiction complicates the understanding of bodyminds—the intertwinement of the mental and the physical—in the context of race, gender, and (dis)ability. Bridging black feminist theory with disability studies, Schalk demonstrates that this genre's political potential lies in the authors' creation of bodyminds that transcend reality's limitations. She reads (dis)ability in neo-slave narratives by Octavia Butler (Kindred) and Phyllis Alesia Perry (Stigmata) not only as representing the literal injuries suffered under slavery, but also as a metaphor for the legacy of racial violence. The fantasy worlds in works by N. K. Jemisin, Shawntelle Madison, and Nalo Hopkinson—where werewolves have obsessive-compulsive-disorder and blind demons can see magic—destabilize social categories and definitions of the human, calling into question the very nature of identity. In these texts, as well as in Butler’s Parable series, able-mindedness and able-bodiedness are socially constructed and upheld through racial and gendered norms. Outlining (dis)ability's centrality to speculative fiction, Schalk shows how these works open new social possibilities while changing conceptualizations of identity and oppression through nonrealist contexts.
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About the author

Sami Schalk is Assistant Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Mar 15, 2018
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Pages
192
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ISBN
9780822371830
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / American / African American
Literary Criticism / Science Fiction & Fantasy
Social Science / People with Disabilities
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the National Book Award–winning author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression comes a monumental new work, a decade in the writing, about family. In Far from the Tree, Andrew Solomon tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children but also find profound meaning in doing so.

Solomon’s startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us all. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, as are the triumphs of love Solomon documents in every chapter.

All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent parents should accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves. Drawing on forty thousand pages of interview transcripts with more than three hundred families, Solomon mines the eloquence of ordinary people facing extreme challenges. Whether considering prenatal screening for genetic disorders, cochlear implants for the deaf, or gender reassignment surgery for transgender people, Solomon narrates a universal struggle toward compassion. Many families grow closer through caring for a challenging child; most discover supportive communities of others similarly affected; some are inspired to become advocates and activists, celebrating the very conditions they once feared. Woven into their courageous and affirming stories is Solomon’s journey to accepting his own identity, which culminated in his midlife decision, influenced by this research, to become a parent.

Elegantly reported by a spectacularly original thinker, Far from the Tree explores themes of generosity, acceptance, and tolerance—all rooted in the insight that love can transcend every prejudice. This crucial and revelatory book expands our definition of what it is to be human.
 ‘You have the stigmata,’ his grip firming when she tries to pull her hand away. ‘So have I. The scar across my eye, you see.’

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Take a hermit, innocent, Christ-like, withdrawn, foreign-looking, non-English-speaking; then place him where the innocent are getting raped in an insular community.  The result is awful predictability amid cries of ‘no more!’. But the rapes continue until the rapist is caught.

 

Remove a hermit, innocent, Christ-like, withdrawn, foreign-looking, non-English-speaking, to the desolate mainland.  Let the child of the rapist follow (why?) to the desolate mainland where the neighbours are a half-witted man and his fighting cock of a sister.  Add a city detective on the pry, an abattoir, a sometime nightclub entertainer and her squatter husband.  Minds on the edge rubbing against each other. Double, double, toil and trouble.

 

In Me, the Old Man Bill Reed demonstrated his skill in portraying inhumanity and its often-insanity.  Readers of Stigmata will not be disappointed with this follow-up work.

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Originally a well-known and widely-performed and award-winning playwright, Bill Reed began writing fiction in his late thirties.  Stigmata was his fourth novel and became the winner of the FAW Australian Natives Award in 1981.  To date he has written thirteen novels, including 1001 Lankan Nights, books 1 and 2. 

 

He has worked as a publishing director and journalist in Australia and overseas, including Canada, Britain and the Subcontinent.  During that time, he became Publishing Director of two major Australian publishing houses, but now mostly resides in Sri Lanka.

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‘…. It’s that interaction of innocence and inhumanity that so chills the blood… like certain Samuel Beckett novels, it could have left the reader feeling suicidal but, in fact, the final effect is one of driving elation’  Jill Neville, review, Sydney Morning Herald.

 

Since its debut in 1990, The Wheel of Time® by Robert Jordan has captivated millions of readers around the globe with its scope, originality, and compelling characters.

Over the course of fifteen books and millions of words, the world that Jordan created grew in depth and complexity. However, only a fraction of what Jordan imagined ended up on the page, the rest going into his personal files.

Now The Wheel of Time Companion sheds light on some of the most intriguing aspects of the world, including biographies and motivations of many characters that never made it into the books, but helped bring Jordan's world to life.

Included in the volume in an A-to-Z format are:

An entry for each named character
An inclusive dictionary of the Old Tongue
New maps of the Last Battle
New portraits of many characters
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Descriptions of the flora and fauna unique to the world
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The Wheel of Time Companion will be required reading for The Wheel of Time's millions of fans.

The Wheel of Time®
New Spring: The Novel
#1 The Eye of the World
#2 The Great Hunt
#3 The Dragon Reborn
#4 The Shadow Rising
#5 The Fires of Heaven
#6 Lord of Chaos
#7 A Crown of Swords
#8 The Path of Daggers
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#10 Crossroads of Twilight
#11 Knife of Dreams

By Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
#12 The Gathering Storm
#13 Towers of Midnight
#14 A Memory of Light

By Robert Jordan and Teresa Patterson
The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time

By Robert Jordan, Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons
The Wheel of Time Companion

By Robert Jordan and Amy Romanczuk
Patterns of the Wheel: Coloring Art Based on Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time

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