The struggles, joys and political awakening of a firecracker of a narrator who has spent her adult life in a wheelchair.
In 1971, Linton was your run-of-the-mill countercultural college dropout. But everything changed while she was hitchhiking to a demonstration against the Vietnam War. Sideswiped on the interstate, the author was instantly paralyzed, and her husband and best friend killed. Since that day, Linton has devoted herself to becoming many things—psychologist, professor, activist—while steadily refusing to be defined by her disability. It took much of the past 30-plus years for Linton to evolve from passive patient to professional woman determined to blend in, to activist in the disability rights movement. In a work that blends memoir and cultural critique, Linton discusses the history of disabled people and their marginalization. Long before she was aware of any kind of cultural context for her disability, Linton was determined to live her life fully: return to college, achieve a degree in psychology, live alone, drive a car. And she was seized with a need to make sense of her changed body, in particular to understand how her sex life would be affected. With romance in Manhattan, a sojourn in Berkeley, classes at Columbia and wheelchair dance lessons (taught by a quadriplegic friend), Linton has succeeded in creating a life both rich and enviable. With her crackle, irreverence and intelligence, it's clear that the author would never be willing to settle.