Venus on Wheels: Two Decades of Dialogue on Disability, Biography, and Being Female in America

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University of California Press, May 30, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 284 pages
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"A stunning example of the imaginative sweep, compassionate empathy, and analytical rigor of the new ethnography that we so badly need for our new century. . . . [It is] an unforgettable ethnographic dialogue that is deeply philosophical, moving, disturbing, and always lucid about what it means to try to understand another person on their own terms. Gelya Frank brings new life to anthropology's quest."—Ruth Behar, author of The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart

"A thoughtful, breakthough work that moves the field into the next era of conceptualizing theoretical and methodological issues. It will become a classic."—Gay Becker, author of Disrupted Lives: How people Create Meaning in a Chaotic World

"If there were ever a recommendation for how the insights of an ethnography can help us make a leap over the border of difference, this is it."—Faye Ginsberg, author of Contested Lives: The Abortion Debate in an American Community

"This is one of the most fascinating relationships revealed through a creative juxtaposition of life history and ethnographic narrative along with a much-needed meditation on the doing of such research. Frank achieves a measured and graceful synthesis of purposes that could profitably serve as a model of mixed-genre ethnographic writing."—George Marcus

"Gelya Frank's Venus on Wheels is a fascinating blend of ethnographic theory and practice. The endnotes alone provide a liberal education in current ethnography, literary criticism, cultural studies, and thought about the human consequences of being disabled -- and of being abled. A stunning achievement."—James Olney, Voorhies Professor of English, Louisiana State University

"Frank's book is a masterpiece of reflection about the meaning of disablity in her own life and that of Diane DeVries -- a woman whose amazing resilience and rock-hard courage to face life shine through in every chapter."—Betty R. Hasselkus, Editor, American Journal of Occupational Therapy
 

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Contents

for Cultural Biography
12
How Typical or Representative and of What
60
The Biography in the Shadow Meets Venus
82
Truly Your Diane
146
Notes
171
Bibliography
229
Credits
267
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About the author (2000)

Gelya Frank is a cultural anthropologist on the faculty of the Departments of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy and Anthropology at the University of Southern California. She is the coauthor of Lives: An Anthropological Approach to Biography (1981).

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