Killed by kindness, stifled by overprotection, choked by subtle if sometimes unconscious snubs, the physically handicapped are one of the world's most invisible minorities. Seeking to draw attention to the various attitudes and perceptions about the handicapped, renowned poet Vassar Miller has assembled this collection of short stories and poems culled from the best of contemporary literature.
The forty-five works focus on characters with motor and/or sensory disabilities. Ranging from optimistic to embittered and from sentimental to realistic, they portray the handicapped and the family; the handicapped and society; the myth of the holy idiot; the handicapped as human being, good, evil, and indifferent; the handicapped as unique. Both instructional and entertaining, this book will be of interest to a wide variety of readers, including the handicapped themselves. It will be especially helpful to professionals in the medical, education, and social service fields. As Vassar Miller says in her introduction, "... the book is meant as a midwife in bringing to birth a renewed understanding of all human beings as so many mirrors of God, however seemingly distorted ..."
"This selection of fiction and poetry about handicapped people has no parallel elsewhere in the publishing world.... [It] is not sentimental. It is not unduly symbolic. It does not directly exhort readers, both handicapped and able-bodied, to lead a better life. What it does is to expand all readers' knowledge of the inner worlds of handicapped people and thereby enable all of us to be less frightened, more realistic, more able to embrace our own humanity.... We need—all of us—Ms. Miller's anthology."
—Joanne Trautmann Banks, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center