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Spelling Love with an X: A Mother, a Son, and the Gene That Binds Them

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Spelling Love with an X: A Mother, a Son, and the Gene That Binds Them Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A medical memoir and poetic meditation on raising a child with a genetic disorder

Clare Dunsford is the mother of a twenty-one-yearold son with Fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of mental retardation. Spelling Love with an X is the first literary memoir about living with Fragile X, which affects the lives of over a million people in the U.S., including those with the full mutation, their families, and treatment professionals.

When her son was first diagnosed, at age seven, Dunsford received the devastating news that she and three of her four siblings carry the Fragile X premutation and had therefore unknowingly passed on the full mutation to several of their children. An English professor by training, Dunsford draws on classic poetry to explore her new identity as a genetically flawed individual and reflect on her life with J.P., a colorful young man with great verbal dexterity and a lovably cheeky streak. My instinct to find order and consolation in literature, she writes, lends a distinct voice to the story of my family's DNA. Brimming with warmth and intelligence, Spelling Love with an X shares the disarming insights of a compassionate scholar on motherhood, literature, and genetic inheritance.

Part poetry, part scientific inquiry, this wonderful memoir is, above all, the story of being complexly human in a world filled with fragility and strength, shadow and light. Clare Dunsford navigates the X that has mapped her own and her son's paths with humor, honesty, and clear-sighted intelligence--and in prose that sings.

--Elizabeth Graver, author of The Honey Thief and Awake

Clare Dunsford does much more than inform us concerning a disorderwe know too little about. Through a prose both lucid and beautiful, she is able to communicate the strangeness, even the poetry, of fragile X.

--Clara Claiborne Park, author of The Siege: A Family's Journey into the World of an Autistic Child and Exiting Nirvana: A Daughter's Life with Autism

Spelling Love with an X is a beautifully written journey of a woman toward understanding--of herself, her son, and the twists of fate and DNA that bind them and all of us. Clare Dunsford's powerful and moving memoir is rich with humor, poetry and, most of all, love.

--Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Choosing Naia: A Family's Journey

Synopsis:

When her son, J.P., was first diagnosed with fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of mental retardation, Clare Dunsford discovered that she and three of her four siblings carried the fragile X premutation and had therefore passed on the full mutation to J.P. and several of his cousins. An English professor by training, Dunsford draws on poetry to explore her new identity as a "mutant" and reflect on her life with J.P., a colorful young man with great verbal dexterity and a lovable cheeky streak. Brimming with warmth, Spelling Love with an X shares the disarming insights of a compassionate scholar on motherhood, disability, and genetic inheritance.

About the Author

Clare Dunsford is an associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston College and has been a contributing writer for Boston College Magazine. She was previously an adjunct lecturer in English at Boston College and Harvard University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807072806
Author:
Dunsford, Clare
Publisher:
Beacon Press (MA)
Subject:
Specific Groups - Special Needs
Subject:
Handicapped
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Child Development
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Children with Special Needs
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20081031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
216
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.25 x .6 in .6 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Special Needs

Spelling Love with an X: A Mother, a Son, and the Gene That Binds Them Used Trade Paper
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Product details 216 pages Beacon Press - English 9780807072806 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , When her son, J.P., was first diagnosed with fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of mental retardation, Clare Dunsford discovered that she and three of her four siblings carried the fragile X premutation and had therefore passed on the full mutation to J.P. and several of his cousins. An English professor by training, Dunsford draws on poetry to explore her new identity as a "mutant" and reflect on her life with J.P., a colorful young man with great verbal dexterity and a lovable cheeky streak. Brimming with warmth, Spelling Love with an X shares the disarming insights of a compassionate scholar on motherhood, disability, and genetic inheritance.
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