Synopses & Reviews
"An important, hopeful book."—Susannah Meadows, New York Times Susannah Meadows
"In this quietly moving memoir, Adams writes about coming to terms with her son's diagnosis, education, limitations, and identity. . . .Generous and honest."—Boston Globe New York Times
"We learn from Adams what it means to have a son very different from most others in mind and body, whose future is uncertain, but whose life is infused with love and so worth living."—Jerome Groopman, New York Review of Books Boston Globe
"Powerful, poignant, and persuasive."—Glenn Altschuler, Psychology Today: This is America blog Jerome Groopman - New York Review of Books
"In her luminous memoir . . . Adams writes about how the birth of her son changed everything, and, at the same time, brought her back to the beginnings of a journey that had been long in the making."—Sarah Torretta Klock, New York Family Magazine Glenn Altschuler - Psychology Today, This is America blog
“This is a terrific book—gorgeously written, beautifully realized.”—Michael Bérubé, author of Life as We Know It: A Father, a Family, and an Exceptional Child Sarah Torretta Klock - New York Family Magazine
A mother's deeply moving account of raising a son with Down syndrome in a world crowded with contradictory attitudes toward disabilities
Rachel Adams's life had always gone according to plan. She had an adoring husband, a beautiful two-year-old son, a sunny Manhattan apartment, and a position as a tenured professor at Columbia University. Everything changed with the birth of her second child, Henry. Just minutes after he was born, doctors told her that Henry had Down syndrome, and she knew that her life would never be the same. In this honest, self-critical, and surprisingly funny book, Adams chronicles the first three years of Henry's life and her own transformative experience of unexpectedly becoming the mother of a disabled child. A highly personal story of one family's encounter with disability, Raising Henry is also an insightful exploration of today's knotty terrain of social prejudice, disability policy, genetics, prenatal testing, medical training, and inclusive education. Adams untangles the contradictions of living in a society that is more enlightened and supportive of people with disabilities than ever before, yet is racing to perfect prenatal tests to prevent children like Henry from being born. Her book is gripping, beautifully written, and nearly impossible to put down. Once read, her family's story is impossible to forget.
About the Author
Rachel Adams is professor of English and American studies at Columbia University, where she is also director of the Future of Disability Studies Project. She is the author of Sideshow U.S.A.: Freaks and the American Cultural Imagination. Adams lives with her husband and two sons in New York City.