Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Growing Up Disabled in Australia (ed by Carly Findlay, Black Inc.)

Growing up Disabled in Australia, edited by Carly Findlay, is the latest anthology in Black Inc.’s ‘Growing Up’ series. Like the previous anthologies, it features both emerging and established writers. A wide variety of disabilities are depicted in the book, from the obvious to the invisible, from the congenital to the acquired, encompassing mental illness as well as autism and ADHD. Importantly, the essays in this collection recognise the different ways of ‘growing up’ as a person with disability: experiencing disability from childhood; becoming a disabled person later in life; and the realisation of that identity during adulthood. Growing Up Disabled in Australia is built around the understanding of the social model of disability—that people are mostly disabled only by the societal resistance to accessibility, rather than by their bodies themselves. Many of the writers express frustration with trying to define or accept the label of being disabled but come to celebrate their pride while acknowledging the harm of ableism. Particularly compelling are the essays that explore the intersection of discrimination in Australia—of being disabled and a person of colour, for example. This anthology will find a similar audience to readers of the previous ‘Growing Up’ books, as well as those interested in disability activism. It will be available in paperback and accessible ebook formats, with an audiobook to follow.

Clare Millar is a writer, editor and bookseller.


Category: Reviews