Literature and Disability  book cover
1st Edition

Literature and Disability

ISBN 9780415632218
Published August 23, 2015 by Routledge
184 Pages

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Book Description

Literature and Disability introduces readers to the field of disability studies and the ways in which a focus on issues of impairment and the representation of disability can provide new approaches to reading and writing about literary texts. Disability plays a central role in much of the most celebrated literature, yet it is only in recent years that literary criticism has begun to consider the aesthetic, ethical and literary challenges that this poses.

The author explores:

  • key debates and issues in disability studies today
  • different forms of impairment, with the aim of showing the diversity and ambiguity of the term "disability"
  • the intersection between literary critical approaches to disability and feminist, post-colonial, and autobiographical writing
  • genre and representations of disability in relation to literary forms including novels, short stories, poems, plays and life writing

This volume provides students and academics with an accessible overview of literary critical approaches to disability representation.

Table of Contents

1. Disability Studies Now  2. An Introduction to Disability Studies  3. Literature and Disability  4. Physical Disability and the Novel  5. Deafness and Performance  6. Blindness and Short Fiction  7. Cognitive Difference and Narrative  8. Disability Life Writing  9. Voice and Poetry  Glossary

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Alice Hall is a Lecturer in Contemporary and Global Literature at the University of York, UK


'Alice Hall’s Literature and Disability provides an excellent introduction to this new field by touching on the key areas and concepts with admirable clarity. The book will surely find its way onto the reading lists of literature courses around the world.' David Bolt, Director of the Centre for Culture & Disability Studies, Liverpool Hope University, UK

'Alice Hall's well-researched and comprehensive new book is an insightful blending of literary criticism and disability studies. It provides a broad yet detailed history of literary disability studies, demonstrating how a disability lens can change readings of novels, memoirs, narratives, short stories, and poetry, even expanding or blurring genre boundaries and definitions. Hall also points to intersections between disability studies and other critical lenses: feminist, postcolonial, queer, and critical race theories. This comprehensive and valuable history of literary disability studies also explores current debates about disability as metaphor and to what extent these works challenge deficit models of disability. This book is essential reading for those seeking a comprehensive synthesis and analysis of critical disability studies.' Patricia A. Dunn, Associate Professor of English, Stony Brook University, USA

'Literature and Disability is an incredibly useful and much-needed book for students and scholars alike. This is an impressive book that will guide students and scholars through what has been and can be done in the field of disability in literature; it will set readers on a course to expand their understanding of both literature and disability.' Bridget Marshall, Associate Professor of English, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, USA

'A lively and deeply thoughtful excellent addition to the field of health humanities.' Paul Crawford, Professor of Health Humanities, The University of Nottingham, UK

'A smart, thorough, and up-to-date overview of the disability studies/literature intersection, combining a review of the field's chief political, aesthetic, and theoretical debates with helpful case studies of texts like Coetzee's Slow Man, Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, and disability memoirs. An important resource for teachers and scholars, both those specializing in disability studies and those wishing to introduce disability studies into their work.' Celeste Langan, Associate Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley, USA