What to Read After… Look Up! 20/09/21
I Am Not A Label
Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions
Meet 34 trailblazing disabled role models in this powerful and stylish book.
From the famous to the less well-known, and from the past to the contemporary, it’s a wonderfully eclectic range of stories, each introduced with humour and heart. Each biographical account focusses on the individual’s unique experience, reminding us of the diverse spectrum encompassed by the word ‘disability’. Along with the likes Beethoven, Helen Keller and Stephen Hawking, it also introduces less familiar stories such as Lady Gaga’s life with fibromyalgia, Lil Wayne’s epilepsy and Dynamo’s experience of Crohn’s disease.
Large illustrations and simple biographies will encourage readers to explore the lives of these disabled artists, thinkers, athletes and activists who are leaders in their fields. Yet this is more than just an inspirational book celebrating difference, or a book that simply says you can be a hero ‘despite’ being disabled. Crucially, it also recognises that you do not have to be a hero. As comedian Stella Young (one of those featured) points out, disability is neither a disaster nor a gift – it is just another normal. It can be wonderful, it can be tedious, it can be hilarious. Just like anyone else’s life.
Fascinating, funny and informative, this is an anthology that breaks stereotypes and challenges assumptions.