Cover

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Front Matter

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CONTENTS

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PREFACE

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pp. xi-xviii

Until recently, stories about people who live with disabilities have been written by the nondisabled. And most of the stories, even when written by a person with a disability, center on the experience of one person. This narrative, familiar from television movies-of-the-week and films, tells of an individual overcoming his or her disability. These...

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One: Questions of Origin

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pp. 1-61

Those afternoons I did not take the bus and chose to walk home from high school, I would find this boy, maybe ten or eleven years old, sitting on the stoop of the semidetached house where I imagined he lived. Every time I passed, this boy asked: "Why are your legs the way they are?" And I would answer, "I was born that way," never stopping or...

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Two: Heat and White Stone

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pp. 63-123

For most of my life I have lived near water. When I wake in the middle of the night and cannot get myself back to sleep the sound of foghorns, sometimes distant, sometimes near, serves as the background for my fast-moving thoughts. No matter from what distance the foghorns sound, they are persistent and in their constancy echo...

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Three: Wishing for the Clothes of Heaven

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pp. 125-182

Years ago, toward the end of my bath, I called for my father. He entered the bathroom and knelt beside the tub. When I lifted my feet from the water, my father took the bar of soap, wet it, and as I rested my feet in his palm he gently slid the soap over my skin and between my toes....

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Four: A Difference in Time

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pp. 183-222

I am alone when the hurricane begins. Earlier, I heard about the hurricane's approach on the radio while driving into town. When I stopped off to mail a letter I was confronted by the sign on the counter: POST OFFICE WILL CLOSE AT NOON TO PREPARE FOR HURRICANE'S ARRIVAL. That's when I started to take the hurricane seriously...

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. 223-224

The author would like to thank the PEN Writers Fund and the Authors League Fund for financial support; the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, the MacDowell Colony, the Ragdale Foundation, Villa Montalvo, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, for residencies that provided the time and care...