Growing up in southwestern Virginia in recent decades, poet Molly McCully Brown often passed by a state institution in Amherst County that was once known as the "Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded."
In The Man He Became, historian James Tobin says, despite misimpressions to the contrary, Americans of Franklin Roosevelt's day were well-aware of his disability — it was an important part of the personal narrative that helped him win the presidency.
Writer Andre Dubus died this week. Dubus' short stories earned him numerous awards, including a MacArthur award, a Rea Award, and a Bernard Malamud Award from the writers group, PEN. An accident in 1986 left Dubus wheelchair bound, he later said his condition helped him get rid of his fears, it also made its way into his writing. Dubus short stories gained wide attention in the years following the accident. (REBROADCAST from 6/25/91)
Mairs is the author of several books, including "Ordinary Time," "Voice Lessons," and "Plaintext." In many of her books she deals openly and honestly about the progression of her multiple sclerosis, and it's effect on her life and marriage. Her latest book is "Waist-High in the World."
Hockenberry spent more than a decade with National Public Radio as a general assignment reporter, Middle East correspondent, and program host. Until now, he made a point of never mentioning that he is paralyzed from the waist down. He writes of his life's obstacles and accomplishments in his new book Moving Violations (Hyperion).
Dubus' short stories earned him this year's Bernard Malamud Award from the writers group, PEN. Dubus has just released his first work of non-fiction, a collection of essays, called "Broken Vessels." It deals with, among other things, a tragic car accident that killed one person and left him severely injured.
Journalist John Hockenberry. For the past two years he's been National Public Radio's foreign correspondent in the Middle East, where he covered events from his wheelchair. He's also served as host for "All Things Considered," "SoundPrint," and other shows. In 1987 he won a Peabody and in 1988, a Unity in Media award. In March, he'll be hosting "Heat," a new nightly interview, performance, and call-in show over NPR.
Callahan was paralyzed in a drunk driving accident. Since then, he's become comic strip artist whose irreverent cartoons focus on the experiences of the disabled. Callahan's new memoir is called Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot.
Oliver Sacks suffered a severe injury while hiking which eventually led to the loss of feeling in his leg. His recovery and gave him insights into the treatment of his own patients who suffer from memory problems and encephalitis lethargica.