In this collection of ten poignant essays, Nancy Mairs discloses the acutely intimate and at times distressing revelations of living with a disability. Through the phenomenological dimension of an experiential locus, Mairs encourages the reader to travel along on a journey through the thoughts, feelings, and actions allied with an authentic accounting of her disability, and how it saturates the seemingly subjective experience into a recognizable universal attitude towards those regarded as “less fortunate”.
Throughout the essays, it is apparent that Mairs is both an expert writer and a remarkable storyteller. From seemingly grounded self-evident truths to prodigious interpretations of things as they really are, Mair’s prose and poesy coerce the reader to recognize the staggering abilities of the human mind that are sometimes dismissed in those considered “disabled”.
As Mair explains in the penetrating essay “Young and Disabled,” to “…build a life based on my needs rather than on other’s expectations of me” is a battle cry easily understood by many; both those “able” and disabled (132). And, in a rare understanding of the deeply ethical complications of disability, Mair exclaims, “…people who act on principle are likely to sacrifice the individual for the agenda, which is frequently shaped by their own, often deeply buried, presuppositions about what constitutes an acceptable life” (120).
The writings of Mair are undoubtedly readable. Not because they are unpretentious but because Mair has mastered the art of conveying profoundly personal modes of being in writing. This is an arduous craft which makes all but the simplest existential and phenomenological ideas problematic.
In Mair’s writing, there is also a stout Feminist influence. This persuasion, however, is a pleasantly interwoven part of the whole. It is not overpowering, nor is it defensive. It is exactly the right amount for any reader to appreciate the importance of feminist theory to any experiential understanding of the human experience.
I would recommend this book to many diverse readers. From those new to studying disabilities, to those struggling to find their voice in writing, Mairs style of writing is both accessible and informative.
Enjoy the Read!
Analysis of Disability by Nancy Mairs
1008 WordsMay 8th, 20125 Pages
University Of Balamand
Faculty of Health Sciences
English Communication Skills (Eng203)
Critical analysis of “Disability” by Nancy Mairs
May 11, 2012 Author of disability Nancy Mairs who’s a feminist and a cripple, has accomplished a lot in writing and teaching. Her remarkable personality shows in many of her essays especially in Disability which was first published in 1987 in the New York Times. In this essay, Nancy Mairs shows how disabled people are constantly excluded, especially from the media. By giving out facts and including her personal experiences, Mairs aims for making some changes regarding the relationship between the media and people with disabilities. Mairs thesis is shown implicitly in the first…show more content…
Nancy Mairs starts “Disability” with self-revelations which show through her entire essay, like for instance: “I am a forty-three-year-old woman crippled with multiple sclerosis…”; “take it from me…”; “I’m the advertisers’ dream…” The fact that Nancy Mairs mentions herself a lot makes her essay lack objectivity. But the reason behind this is that few are the people who can relate to this topic. So no one really knows what this is about as much as Mairs and all disabled people who form a minority do. This tells us that the author knows what she’s talking about. Since this essay is addressed to people who don’t know much about disability, its purpose is not merely to inform us about the physical disability itself but also about the psychological effects of the constant isolation and exclusion of people with disabilities. This makes the essay persuasive rather than argumentative since the author only mentioned her attitude towards this subject. But what a better way to do it than having a person with disability talk about his/her personal experiences? Persuading people of Mairs point of view which is that disabled people should be included in the daily activities couldn’t be done by just stating objective facts. This kind of persuasion needs examples. To prove that disabled people are unfairly treated, Nancy Mairs gives an example of a crippled women who was stopped from doing what she wanted to do, though she was still physically able to do