GERI by Geri with Stewart Weiner Jewell


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The cheery, cheeky success story of a rising comedian and actress--most familiar from NBC's Facts of Life--born with cerebral palsy, Geri Jewell doesn't know just what caused her C.P., though the damage may have been done when her pregnant mother leaped from the path of an incoming car. In any case, her mother not only knew within months that something was wrong, she made a correct diagnosis: her baby's sometimes rigid limbs and uncontrollable movements were all too reminiscent of a childhood friend's C.P. Jewell painstakingly chronicles those difficult times and the years after: the search for supportive, knowledgeable physicians that moved the family from Buffalo to California; the school years that were long on various therapies, short on basic education; her career take-off--through stints in a Los Angeles comedy club--and subsequent breaks. Throughout, Jewell wisecracks: early on, when her mother made daily hospital-visits to check on her baby's condition--""For a woman who didn't drive, the trip. . . was a pain in the bus."" The wise-cracking tends to keep readers, and perhaps Jewell herself, distant from the pain of her ordeal. On some obviously upsetting matters, Jewell's brush-off leaves a blank: what about those women who at various times ""adopted"" Jewell only as a cause, leaving her feeling betrayed (and leading one of them to a suicide attempt)? Jewell can't, or won't, let us know. Take this, then, at humorous, upbeat face value.

Pub Date: Jan. 16th, 1983
Publisher: Morrow