Alumni Author of the Month, October: Rachel Adams, MA'92

Alumni Author of the Month, October: Rachel Adams, MA'92

In e-TrueBlue, our weekly e-newsletter for Alumni Association members, we regularly highlight an author and University of Michigan graduate who has recently published a book. Following is the featured book and author for April 2013.

Check out our Alumni Author Series for more books by U-M graduates.

About the Book

Rachel Adams is a Columbia University professor who made her academic mark studying the lives of people whose physical differences were exhibited for the entertainment of others. Her intellectual curiosity led her to investigate the history of freak shows that were once a popular attraction. How did the world view these people them; how did they view themselves?

Adams’ interest in disability suddenly became profoundly personal when her son Henry was born with Down syndrome.  She soon discovered that the world had a hard time seeing Henry as a complicated individual, rather than as a tragedy or symbol. These truths became the basis for “Raising Henry: A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, and Discovery” (Yale University Press, 2013).

Her story is deeply personal, relating in vivid detail the daily challenge of ensuring the best education and therapy for Henry while meeting the needs of his older brother and holding a demanding job. With honesty, openness, and humor, Adams chronicles her own awakening to the lived experiences of people with disabilities and to pervasive misconceptions and barriers to inclusion. She tells of the genuine, individual Henry—warm, funny, loving, stubborn, and often surprising.

About the Author

Rachel Adams, MA’92, is a writer and professor of English and American Studies at Columbia University, where she directs the Future of Disability Studies project. Her writing has appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Slate, The Times of London, and she blogs for Huffington Post. She lives in New York with her husband Jon and sons Noah and Henry.  

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