An academic yet concise, fresh, and deeply informed look at how we read.



How does the study of disability help us to understand stories?

In this important contribution to disability studies, literary scholar and critic Bérubé (Literature, Director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities/Pennsylvania State Univ.; The Left at War, 2009, etc.) examines how characters with intellectual disabilities shape “the specific narrative they inhabit.” What can these characters know about this narrative? How can they serve as “a device for exploring the phenomenon of human sociality?” How can they inform our assumptions about “the ‘real’ and the ‘normal?’ ” Central to this inquiry is the overarching question of how to define intellectual disability. The author resists diagnosing characters and perpetuating stereotypes of such conditions as autism and Down syndrome, rather arguing that each character is distinct. He is skeptical, for example, about whether the theory of mindblindness—the inability to imagine that other people have minds—is useful for understanding autism, but he sees that a character’s “strategic adoption of mindblindness” may allow for “complex readings” of a narrative. Focusing on three themes—motive, time, and self-awareness—Bérubé analyzes a copious number of novels, plays, and movies. He assumes his readers’ familiarity not only with significant texts in disability studies, but also with the literary works he discusses, including the Harry Potter series, The Woman Warrior, The Sound and the Fury, A Wrinkle in Time, Life and Times of Michael K, Don Quixote, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Bérubé helpfully offers a synopsis of Philip K. Dick’s “little known and rarely studied Martian Time-Slip,” which he considers “one of Anglophone literature’s most fascinating attempts to textualize intellectual disability.” For Bérubé, considering such disability serves “as an invitation to…hyperattentiveness,” a way to reinvigorate perception, “to make objects unfamiliar, to render people imaginable.”

An academic yet concise, fresh, and deeply informed look at how we read.

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4798-2361-1

Page Count: 240

Publisher: New York Univ.

Review Posted Online: Oct. 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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