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Poster Child: A Memoir

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Poster Child: A Memoir Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

The stunning, critically-acclaimed memoir of living with disability.

Emily Rapp was born with a congenital defect that required, at the age of four, that her left foot be amputated. By the time she was eight shed had dozens of operations, had lost most of her leg, from just above the knee, and had become the smiling, indefatigable “poster child” for the March of Dimes. For years she made appearances at church suppers and rodeos, giving pep talks about how normal and happy she was. All the while she was learning to live with what she later described as “my grievous, irrevocable flaw,” and the paradox that being extraordinary was the only way to be ordinary.

 

Emily Rapp was born in Nebraska and grew up in Wyoming and Colorado. She was a Fulbright Scholar and a James A. Michener Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. She has received awards and recognition for her work from The Atlantic Monthly, StoryQuarterly, The Mary Roberts Rinehart foundation, the Jentel Arts Foundation, The Corporation of Yaddo, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She was recently the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University. She is a professor in the MFA Program at Antioch University in Los Angeles.
Emily Rapp was born with a congenital defect that required, at the age of four, that her left foot be amputated. By the time she was eight, shed had dozens of operations, including the removal of her entire leg below the knee. She had also become the smiling, always perky, indefatigable poster child for the March of Dimes, and spent much of her childhood traveling around the Midwest making appearances and giving pep talks. All the while she was learning to live with what she called “my grievous, irrevocable flaw,” and the paradox that being extraordinary was the only way to be ordinary. 

 

Poster Child is Rapps unflinching, brutally honest and often darkly humorous account of wrestling with the tyranny of self-image as a teenager and then ultimately coming to terms with her own body as a young woman. Its about what its like to live inside a broken body in a society that values beauty above almost everything else.

"You can't put down this excellent memoir . . . Poster Child beautifully illustrates every human being's sometimes overt, sometimes covert struggle against the intractability of our own physical condition."—The Washington Post
 
"Rapp's precise and forthright descriptions of her exhausting physical ordeals and complex psychic wounds are simultaneously harrowing and fascinating, and they foster a strong bond between writer and reader . . . Rapp approaches the memoir as a supple, revelatory, involving and generous genre . . . She offers a fresh perspective on our obsession with physical perfection, especially the crushing expectations for women, and she writes delicately about the fears that disability engenders regarding intimacy and sex. Rapp's insider's view of the history of prostheses deepens our empathy and admiration for those who depend on artificial limbs, a growing population, once again, in yet another time of war and horrific injuries. Memoir, the conduit from the personal to the universal, is the surest way into the kind of significant psychological, sociological and spiritual truth Rapp is engaged in articulating. And there isn't one false note here. Not one inauthentic moment. No cheap manipulation. No self-importance . . . Her cauterizing specificity is compelling, her candor incandescent and her intelligence, courage and spiritual diligence stupendous."—Donna Seaman, Los Angeles Times
 
"Emily Rapp's autobiographical Poster Child contains actual insight and analysis. Focusing on the challenges she faced as a girl, and later as a young woman, with an artificial leg, the memoir is revelatory and emotional, truthful and empathetic . . . Honest and perceptive."—Christina Eng, San Francisco Chronicle
 
"Emily Rapp, who had her foot and eventually her entire leg amputated starting in 1978, at age 4, brilliantly succeeds at communicating the pain, shame and profound strangeness she experienced as a young amputee in her memoir Poster Child. Rapp, who was literally a poster child for the March of Dimes at age six, writes breathtakingly, almost magically, of the world of wooden legs, silicone feet and metal knee hinges that are made in a filthy workshop by a man who has no soap in his bathroom and dying plants in his waiting room."—Donna Minkowitz, Newsday

"Poster Child is memoir at its finest. Emily Rapp has crafted a book thats both descriptive and reflective, poignant yet never self-indulgent, with a breathtaking final scene. I point to this book in nonfiction classes now and tell students, 'This! This is what you should aspire to!'"—Hope Edelman, author of Motherless Daughters

"Everything about Emily is uniquely wonderful: her memory; her story; her voice; her human insights; her endless strength, honesty and grace; her pitch-perfect prose. My only criticism with this book is that it ended."—Amy Krouse Rosenthal, author of Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

"Emily Rapp tells a revealing and believable story of physical endurance, a fierce will, and the devotion of a remarkable family. Some difficult things in life can never be solved however hard we try, and Emily Rapps memoir details her congenital defect and the ensuing medical ordeals. Graced with many gifts—intelligence, beauty, and spirit—Emily Rapps greatest achievement is to help us understand what it really means to be a whole person."—Laura Furman, author of Drinking with the Cook and series editor of The O. Henry Prize Stories

"The pain of endless surgeries, the fear of never being loved, the longing to be whole in a culture ruled by a heartless obsession with physical perfection. These emotions underlie Emily Rapps wonderful book, but they dont define it. Poster Child is too much fun to read, too rich with hard-headed detail about everything from the terrors of miniskirts to the mechanics of artificial limbs, to be mistaken for a woeful tale of disability. Here is what it is like to have a daring mind, a full heart—and one leg."—Stephen Harrigan, author of Challenger Park

 
"With a voice as refreshing as spiked lemon ice, authentic, feisty and tender, Poster Child connects us to an unflinching American family and to a guileless young woman who tells her emerging story with luminous self-command. At every quarter turn we follow the narrators transformations from her first tentative steps and into glittering prisms of personal challenge and explosive discovery. A triumph of warmth, wit, and a fiercely lyric psyche."—Maria Flook, bestselling author of Invisible Eden and My Sister Life
 
"Mature and graceful debut memoir about a childhood struggle to be perfect. Born with a congenital bone and tissue disorder, the author had her left foot amputated when she was four and was fitted with an expensive, ugly prosthesis; at eight, after several operations, her entire left leg was removed. Rapp devoted her childhood to excelling, to being brave and smart: If I do everything just right, she reasoned, maybe I can make up for that missing leg. Despite her handicap, she biked and swam. She reveled in the compliments of the ladies at church, always clucking about her courage. She loved being told that she was an 'inspiration.' But as she entered adolescence, Rapp became more self-conscious. In particular, she worried that she would never catch a man. (She writes with elegance of losing her virginity.) Granted, she had good material to work with. Most people just have to grapple with getting the condom packet open; she had to decide whether or not to remove her leg. During college, her stoicism began to fray, and she wavered under the burden of her own attempts at perfection. In search of a new framework for thinking about disability, she discovered bold theologians who argue that a broken body—Jesus broken body—sits at the center of Christianity. This should not be viewed only as a disability memoir. It is also a story of the 1970s and 80s (the authors recreation of a popular culture that included stonewashed jeans and too much eyeliner is spot-on), a spiritual memoir of the movement from childhood pieties to adult faith and a confession that will resonate with anyone who spent their youth overcompensating, for whatever reason. Rapp has excelled again: This book is a blessing."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
"At the age of six, Rapp was a poster child for the March of Dimes. Born with one leg shorter than the other, she not only endured hip and knee surgery and the amputation of her left foot but was also plagued by chronic pain to her postoperative limb. Then, another type of pain followed—rejection because of her wooden leg. Rapp's emotional journey parallels that of Lucy Grealy, whose face was disfigured from cancer operations. Rapp's skillful detailing of her life from birth to adulthood is sandwiched between a prologue and a surprise ending. One discovers in the prologue that Emily became an overachiever and was a Fulbright scholar. Knowing this keeps the reader trudging through pages detailing her physical and emotional pain. At the book's end, readers will be shocked to learn that Rapp quit her Fulbright scholarship amid panic attacks. A quitter for the very first time, she finally accepted her physical self, which is her triumph. Recommended for public and academic libraries."—Dorris Douglass, Williamson County Public Library, Franklin, Tennessee, Library Journal

Synopsis:

The stunning, critically-acclaimed memoir of living with disability.

Emily Rapp was born with a congenital defect that required, at the age of four, that her left foot be amputated. By the time she was eight she'd had dozens of operations, had lost most of her leg, from just above the knee, and had become the smiling, indefatigable poster child for the March of Dimes. For years she made appearances at church suppers and rodeos, giving pep talks about how normal and happy she was. All the while she was learning to live with what she later described as my grievous, irrevocable flaw, and the paradox that being extraordinary was the only way to be ordinary.

Emily Rapp was born in Nebraska and grew up in Wyoming and Colorado. She was a Fulbright Scholar and a James A. Michener Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. She has received awards and recognition for her work from The Atlantic Monthly, StoryQuarterly, The Mary Roberts Rinehart foundation, the Jentel Arts Foundation, The Corporation of Yaddo, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She was recently the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University. She is a professor in the MFA Program at Antioch University in Los Angeles. Emily Rapp was born with a congenital defect that required, at the age of four, that her left foot be amputated. By the time she was eight, she'd had dozens of operations, including the removal of her entire leg below the knee. She had also become the smiling, always perky, indefatigable poster child for the March of Dimes, and spent much of her childhood traveling around the Midwest making appearances and giving pep talks. All the while she was learning to live with what she called my grievous, irrevocable flaw, and the paradox that being extraordinary was the only way to be ordinary.

Poster Child is Rapp's unflinching, brutally honest and often darkly humorous account of wrestling with the tyranny of self-image as a teenager and then ultimately coming to terms with her own body as a young woman. It's about what it's like to live inside a broken body in a society that values beauty above almost everything else. You can't put down this excellent memoir . . . Poster Child beautifully illustrates every human being's sometimes overt, sometimes covert struggle against the intractability of our own physical condition.--The Washington Post Rapp's precise and forthright descriptions of her exhausting physical ordeals and complex psychic wounds are simultaneously harrowing and fascinating, and they foster a strong bond between writer and reader . . . Rapp approaches the memoir as a supple, revelatory, involving and generous genre . . . She offers a fresh perspective on our obsession with physical perfection, especially the crushing expectations for women, and she writes delicately about the fears that disability engenders regarding intimacy and sex. Rapp's insider's view of the history of prostheses deepens our empathy and admiration for those who depend on artificial limbs, a growing population, once again, in yet another time of war and horrific injuries. Memoir, the conduit from the personal to the universal, is the surest way into the kind of significant psychological, sociological and spiritual truth Rapp is engaged in articulating. And there isn't one false note here. Not one inauthentic moment. No cheap manipulation. No self-importance . . . Her cauterizing specificity is compelling, her candor incandescent and her intelligence, courage and spiritual diligence stupendous.--Donna Seaman, Los Angeles Times Emily Rapp's autobiographical Poster Child contains actual insight and analysis. Focusing on the challenges she faced as a girl, and later as a young woman, with an artificial leg, the memoir is revelatory and emotional, truthful and empathetic . . . Honest and perceptive.--Christina Eng, San Francisco Chronicle Emily Rapp, who had her foot and eventually her entire leg amputated starting in 1978, at age 4, brilliantly succeeds at communicating the pain, shame and profound strangeness she experienced as a young amputee in her memoir Poster Child. Rapp, who was literally a poster child for the March of Dimes at age six, writes breathtakingly, almost magically, of the world of wooden legs, silicone feet and metal knee hinges that are made in a filthy workshop by a man who has no soap in his bathroom and dying plants in his waiting room.--Donna Minkowitz, Newsday

Poster Child is memoir at its finest. Emily Rapp has crafted a book that's both descriptive and reflective, poignant yet never self-indulgent, with a breathtaking final scene. I point to this book in nonfiction classes now and tell students, 'This This is what you should aspire to '--Hope Edelman, author of Motherless Daughters

Everything about Emily is uniquely wonderful: her memory; her story; her voice; her human insights; her endless strength, honesty and grace; her pitch-perfect prose. My only criticism with this book is that it ended.--Amy Krouse Rosenthal, author of Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

Emily Rapp tells a revealing and believable story of physical endurance, a fierce will, and the devotion of a remarkable family. Some difficult things in life can never be solved however hard we try, and Emily Rapp's memoir details her congenital defect and the ensuing medical ordeals. Graced with many gifts--intelligence, beauty, and spirit--Emily Rapp's greatest achievement is to help us understand what it really means to be a whole person.--Laura Furman, author of Drinking with the Cook and series editor of The O. Henry Prize Stories

The pain of endless surgeries, the fear of never being loved, the longing to be whole in a culture ruled by a heartless obsession with physical perfection. These emotions underlie Emily Rapp's wonderful book, but they don't define it. Poster Child is too much fun to read, too rich with hard-headed detail about everything from

Synopsis:

The stunning, critically-acclaimed memoir of living with disability.

Emily Rapp was born with a congenital defect that required, at the age of four, that her left foot be amputated. By the time she was eight shed had dozens of operations, had lost most of her leg, from just above the knee, and had become the smiling, indefatigable “poster child” for the March of Dimes. For years she made appearances at church suppers and rodeos, giving pep talks about how normal and happy she was. All the while she was learning to live with what she later described as “my grievous, irrevocable flaw,” and the paradox that being extraordinary was the only way to be ordinary.

 

About the Author

A former Fulbright scholarship recipient, Emily Rapp has received numerous awards and recognition for her work, including from the Atlantic Monthly, StoryQuarterly, and the Corporation of Yaddo. In 2006 she was the Philip Roth Writerin- Residence at Bucknell University. She is currently a professor in the M.F.A. program at Antioch University Los Angeles.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781596915053
Subtitle:
A Memoir
Author:
Rapp, Emily
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
BIO026000
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Specific Groups - Special Needs
Subject:
Rapp, Emily
Subject:
Femur - Abnormalities - Patients
Subject:
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20071226
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
7.84 x 5.92 x 0.655 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Women
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Disability

Poster Child: A Memoir Used Trade Paper
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Product details 240 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781596915053 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The stunning, critically-acclaimed memoir of living with disability.

Emily Rapp was born with a congenital defect that required, at the age of four, that her left foot be amputated. By the time she was eight she'd had dozens of operations, had lost most of her leg, from just above the knee, and had become the smiling, indefatigable poster child for the March of Dimes. For years she made appearances at church suppers and rodeos, giving pep talks about how normal and happy she was. All the while she was learning to live with what she later described as my grievous, irrevocable flaw, and the paradox that being extraordinary was the only way to be ordinary.

Emily Rapp was born in Nebraska and grew up in Wyoming and Colorado. She was a Fulbright Scholar and a James A. Michener Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. She has received awards and recognition for her work from The Atlantic Monthly, StoryQuarterly, The Mary Roberts Rinehart foundation, the Jentel Arts Foundation, The Corporation of Yaddo, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She was recently the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University. She is a professor in the MFA Program at Antioch University in Los Angeles. Emily Rapp was born with a congenital defect that required, at the age of four, that her left foot be amputated. By the time she was eight, she'd had dozens of operations, including the removal of her entire leg below the knee. She had also become the smiling, always perky, indefatigable poster child for the March of Dimes, and spent much of her childhood traveling around the Midwest making appearances and giving pep talks. All the while she was learning to live with what she called my grievous, irrevocable flaw, and the paradox that being extraordinary was the only way to be ordinary.

Poster Child is Rapp's unflinching, brutally honest and often darkly humorous account of wrestling with the tyranny of self-image as a teenager and then ultimately coming to terms with her own body as a young woman. It's about what it's like to live inside a broken body in a society that values beauty above almost everything else. You can't put down this excellent memoir . . . Poster Child beautifully illustrates every human being's sometimes overt, sometimes covert struggle against the intractability of our own physical condition.--The Washington Post Rapp's precise and forthright descriptions of her exhausting physical ordeals and complex psychic wounds are simultaneously harrowing and fascinating, and they foster a strong bond between writer and reader . . . Rapp approaches the memoir as a supple, revelatory, involving and generous genre . . . She offers a fresh perspective on our obsession with physical perfection, especially the crushing expectations for women, and she writes delicately about the fears that disability engenders regarding intimacy and sex. Rapp's insider's view of the history of prostheses deepens our empathy and admiration for those who depend on artificial limbs, a growing population, once again, in yet another time of war and horrific injuries. Memoir, the conduit from the personal to the universal, is the surest way into the kind of significant psychological, sociological and spiritual truth Rapp is engaged in articulating. And there isn't one false note here. Not one inauthentic moment. No cheap manipulation. No self-importance . . . Her cauterizing specificity is compelling, her candor incandescent and her intelligence, courage and spiritual diligence stupendous.--Donna Seaman, Los Angeles Times Emily Rapp's autobiographical Poster Child contains actual insight and analysis. Focusing on the challenges she faced as a girl, and later as a young woman, with an artificial leg, the memoir is revelatory and emotional, truthful and empathetic . . . Honest and perceptive.--Christina Eng, San Francisco Chronicle Emily Rapp, who had her foot and eventually her entire leg amputated starting in 1978, at age 4, brilliantly succeeds at communicating the pain, shame and profound strangeness she experienced as a young amputee in her memoir Poster Child. Rapp, who was literally a poster child for the March of Dimes at age six, writes breathtakingly, almost magically, of the world of wooden legs, silicone feet and metal knee hinges that are made in a filthy workshop by a man who has no soap in his bathroom and dying plants in his waiting room.--Donna Minkowitz, Newsday

Poster Child is memoir at its finest. Emily Rapp has crafted a book that's both descriptive and reflective, poignant yet never self-indulgent, with a breathtaking final scene. I point to this book in nonfiction classes now and tell students, 'This This is what you should aspire to '--Hope Edelman, author of Motherless Daughters

Everything about Emily is uniquely wonderful: her memory; her story; her voice; her human insights; her endless strength, honesty and grace; her pitch-perfect prose. My only criticism with this book is that it ended.--Amy Krouse Rosenthal, author of Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

Emily Rapp tells a revealing and believable story of physical endurance, a fierce will, and the devotion of a remarkable family. Some difficult things in life can never be solved however hard we try, and Emily Rapp's memoir details her congenital defect and the ensuing medical ordeals. Graced with many gifts--intelligence, beauty, and spirit--Emily Rapp's greatest achievement is to help us understand what it really means to be a whole person.--Laura Furman, author of Drinking with the Cook and series editor of The O. Henry Prize Stories

The pain of endless surgeries, the fear of never being loved, the longing to be whole in a culture ruled by a heartless obsession with physical perfection. These emotions underlie Emily Rapp's wonderful book, but they don't define it. Poster Child is too much fun to read, too rich with hard-headed detail about everything from

"Synopsis" by ,
The stunning, critically-acclaimed memoir of living with disability.

Emily Rapp was born with a congenital defect that required, at the age of four, that her left foot be amputated. By the time she was eight shed had dozens of operations, had lost most of her leg, from just above the knee, and had become the smiling, indefatigable “poster child” for the March of Dimes. For years she made appearances at church suppers and rodeos, giving pep talks about how normal and happy she was. All the while she was learning to live with what she later described as “my grievous, irrevocable flaw,” and the paradox that being extraordinary was the only way to be ordinary.

 

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