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Duncan, J.A. (1992). Able Lives: Women's Experience of Paralysis, edited by Jenny Morris, The Women's Press, 1989, 236 pp + viii, £5.95. Free Associations, 3(1):140-142.

(1992). Free Associations, 3(1):140-142

Able Lives: Women's Experience of Paralysis, edited by Jenny Morris, The Women's Press, 1989, 236 pp + viii, £5.95

Review by:
J. Ann Duncan

This book is the first of its kind in Britain, in which disabled women speak for themselves, in an attempt to overcome their isolation by sharing experiences, and to familiarize the general public with the problems of disability. It is part of a growing movement to bring disability issues, which previously have been kept private, into the open.

The book was the result of questionnaires completed by 205 women who have all experienced a spinal cord injury resulting in varying degrees of paralysis, although they are from widely different backgrounds, in diverse circumstances and with a whole range of feelings and politics. Some of the problems apply to all paralysed people, some specifically to women. For instance, women in our society tend to be cast in the role of carer, and the questionnaire was designed to discover what happens to the family and the children when the woman finds considerable difficulty in filling this role, and is in need of some care herself.

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