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Double Take: A Memoirby Kevin Michael Connolly
Synopses & Reviews
From Kevin Connolly:
"I was bitten nearly in half by a shark while swimming in New Zealand. I was a victim of a Serbian mortar round in Sarajevo during the Balkan wars. I have been the victim of a dozen car accidents - head on collisions, vehicle rolls, and pedestrian injuries. I have been the purveyor of magic tricks for children - a routine often involving mirrors and a trapdoor. I have been a beggar and vagabond - panhandling across countries with varying degrees of success. I have also been a holy man - bringing moments of inspiration and light to those who chose to look for it.
I am none these things - and I am all of them. My name is Kevin Michael Connolly and I was born in Helena, Montana on August 18th, 1985. I was also born without legs.
All my life I′ve been an object of curiosity, the subject of a stare. But, while I have shouldered the stares and stories of others, the story of how I′ve managed to travel the world is uniquely my own. DOUBLE TAKE is my story, and it begins in many ways the day I was placed on prosthetic stilts at the age of eight.
In an attempt to capture the moments of intense curiosity I experience on a daily basis, I traveled to 17 countries and took over 32,728 photographs of people staring at me. In Zurich, I raced down the Limmat River against a group of twenty Vikings. In Bosnia, I scrambled to collect my groceries after being side swiped by a car. In Malaysia, I got caught in torrential rainstorms and had to skate and paddle with one hand, while keeping my camera above the rising tide with the other."
"Photographer, champion skier and skateboarder Connolly has been stared at his entire 23-year life. Not because he's handsome, talented and athletic (all true), but because he has no legs. He was born without them, but born into a family that he describes as loving, loyal and matter-of-fact. Connolly writes that his father and grandfather — inspired by several seasons of MacGyver — engineered numerous devices to help the growing boy manage everyday tasks, from using light switches to pitching in on chores, and he was well prepared for his first day of school because his mother led countless 'What would you do if...?' conversations. Connolly appears to be an intelligent, fairly unflappable adult with a healthy sense of humility and humor. He's a good storyteller, too, whether describing his first high school wrestling match, the path from novice to champion skier or what it's like to travel around the world on a skateboard. Connolly also shares his memories of an important, defining moment: when he decided to use photography to gaze back at the people who stared at him. 'Each photo was a miniature catharsis,' he writes, adding, 'Finally, I was able to find my own use for that stare, and it felt good.' His photos, 19 of which serve as chapter dividers, became part of The Rolling Exhibition, which was shown worldwide, including at the Smithsonian. The images are beautiful, revealing and stimulating — just like his narrative." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“Kevin Connolly has used an unusual physical circumstance to create a gripping work of art. This deeply affecting memoir will place him in the company of Jeanette Walls and Augusten Burroughs.” — Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants
“Charming … Connolly recounts growing up a scrappy Montana kid—one who happened to be born without legs... [Double Take] makes for an empowering read.” — People
As featured on 20/20, NPR, and in the Washington Post: Kevin Connolly is a young man born without legs who travels the world—by skateboard, with his camera—on his “Rolling Exhibition,” snapping pictures of peoples reactions to him… and finds out along the way what it truly means to be human.
About the Author
Born without legs, raised in Montana, and now a skateboarding world traveler, Kevin Michael Connolly has seen the world in a way most people never will. His internationally acclaimed photo series, The Rolling Exhibition, which encompasses seventeen countries and more than 30,000 photographs of people staring at him, has been featured in museums and galleries around the world.
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