Venus on Wheels Two Decades of Dialogue on Disability, Biography and Being Female in America

ISBN-10: 0520217160
ISBN-13: 9780520217164
Edition: 2000
Authors: Gelya Frank
List price: $31.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: In 1976 Gelya Frank began writing about the life of Diane DeVries, a woman born with all the physical and mental equipment she would need to live in our society--except arms and legs. Frank was 28 years old, DeVries 26. This remarkable book--by  More...

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Book details

List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 5/30/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 299
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

In 1976 Gelya Frank began writing about the life of Diane DeVries, a woman born with all the physical and mental equipment she would need to live in our society--except arms and legs. Frank was 28 years old, DeVries 26. This remarkable book--by turns moving, funny, and revelatory--records the relationship that developed between the women over the next twenty years. An empathic listener and participant in DeVries's life, and a scholar of the feminist and disability rights movements, Frank argues that Diane DeVries is a perfect example of an American woman coming of age in the second half of the twentieth century. By addressing the dynamics of power in ethnographic representation, Frank--anthropology's leading expert on life history and life story methods--lays the critical groundwork for a new genre, "cultural biography." Challenged to examine the cultural sources of her initial image of DeVries as limited and flawed, Frank discovers that DeVries is gutsy, buoyant, sexy--and definitely not a victim. While she analyzes the portrayal of women with disabilities in popular culture--from limbless circus performers to suicidal heroines on the TV news--Frank's encounters with DeVries lead her to come to terms with her own "invisible disabilities" motivating the study. Drawing on anthropology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, narrative theory, law, and the history of medicine,Venus on Wheelsis an intellectual tour de force.

Acknowledgments
My Introduction to Diane
The Crisis of Representation: Why It Is Time for Cultural Biography
"There's Nothing about the Disabled Woman and the Disabled Culture"--Diane DeVries, 1976
Disability in American Culture: Transformations in Diane's Life and Life Story
How Typical or Representative (and of What) Is the Life of Diane DeVries?
"The Biography in the Shadow" Meets "Venus on Wheels": From Empathy to the Mirror Phenomenon
l-Witnessing Diane's "l": Time, Ethics, and Epistemology
The Women in Diane's Body: Narrative Ambiguity in a Material World
Conclusion: Truly Your Diane
Notes
Bibliography
Credits
Index

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