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A Matter Of Dignity: Changing the Lives of the Disabled

by Andrew Potok

I realized that I needed to learn about the legislative and legal aspects of disability as much as I did about our feelings regarding wholeness, beauty and ugliness, about the state called normalcy, about liberating technologies and therapies, about the role of the disabled in history and literature. And what could better inform and enlighten me than contact with people who help create access, who elicit change via care, support, teaching, and study as their life's work? As it turned out, I have learned from them that, in spite of the American addiction to youthfulness, "normalcy," virility, activity, and physical beauty, diversity in all its forms provides not only fascination but strength. Diversity tends toward higher forms, uniformity toward dullness and extinction. What could make more sense than to value all that is diverse, unexpected, and exuberantly impure?

Ordinary Daylight: A Portrait of an Artist Going Blind

by Andrew Potok

Andrew Potok is an intense, vigorous, sensual man--and a gifted painter. Then, passing forty, he rapidly begins to go blind from an inherited eye disease, retinitis pigmentosa. Depressed and angry, he rages at the losses that are eradicating his life as an artist, his sources of pleasure, his competence as a man. He hates himself for becoming blind. But as he will ultimately discover, and as this remarkable memoir recounts, it is not the end of the world. It is the beginning. Ordinary Daylight This the story of Potok's remarkable odyssey out of despair. He attempts to come to terms with his condition: learning skills for the newly blind, dealing with freakish encounters with the medical establishment, going to London for a promised cure through a bizarre and painful "therapy" of bee stings. He wrestles with the anguish of knowing that his daughter has inherited the same disease that is stealing his own eyesight. And then, as he edges ever closer to complete blindness, there comes the day when he recognizes that the exhilaration he once found in the mix of paint and canvas, hand and eye, he has begun to find in words. By turns fierce, blunt, sexy, and uproariously funny, Andrew Potok's memoir of his journey is as shatteringly frank as it is triumphant. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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