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Golem Girl: A Memoir

af Riva Lehrer

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
986279,946 (4.24)12
"What do we sacrifice in the pursuit of normalcy? And what becomes possible when we embrace monstrosity? In 1958, Riva is one of the first children born with spina bifida to survive. Her parents and doctors are determined to 'fix' her, sending the message over and over again that she is broken. That she will never have a job, a romantic relationship, or an independent life. Enduring countless medical interventions, Riva tries her best to be a good girl and a good patient in the quest to be cured. Everything changes when, as an adult, Riva is invited to join a group of artists, writers, and performers who are building Disability Culture. Their work is daring, edgy, funny, and dark; it rejects tropes that define disabled people as pathetic, frightening, or worthless. They insist that disability is an opportunity for creativity and resistance. Emboldened, Riva asks if she can paint their portraits--an intimate and collaborative process that will transform the way she sees herself, others, and the world. With each portrait, and each person's story, the myths she's been told her whole life--about her body, her sexuality, and the value of normalcy--begin to crumble. Written with the vivid, cinematic prose of a visual artist, and the love and playfulness that defines all of Riva's work, Golem Girl is an extraordinary story of survival and creativity. With the author's magnificent portraits featured throughout, this memoir invites us to stretch ourselves toward a world where bodies flow between all possible forms of what it is to be human"--… (mere)
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» Se også 12 omtaler

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nonfiction/memoir - (incidentally bisexual) visual artist born in 1958 Cincinnati with severe spinal bifida.

it's easy to read this memoir, witnessing the author growing from a premature infant unlikely to survive her first 2 years, persisting as a charming little girl with the unceasing support of her mother and the family's indispensable housekeeper Dorie, and carrying herself forth into adulthood as a skilled painter--images of her paintings (in full color) accompany the text. Lehrer is funny and is also as skilled a storyteller as she is an artist--which is to say, very.
Don't skip the epilogue at the end (reflecting on disability rights post-COVID 19) and see also the notes on the portrait artwork included at the very end. ( )
  reader1009 | Jan 20, 2024 |
Golem Girl by Riva Lehrer is such a frenetic memoir that it is exhausting to read one medical trauma after another. I give Riva credit for writing about her disability with raw honesty but at a certain point I lost interest. I didn’t find her relationships compelling. ( )
  GordonPrescottWiener | Aug 24, 2023 |
Excellent read!

Riva Lehrer ‘tells’ her dramatic life story in detail, from birth to the present as well as its deep connection to her loving, and supportive family.

Lehrer purposely bares her heart and soul with words, and exposes her body, and those of her many, many warm-hearted, devoted friends, collaborators and subjects in her portrait paintings. She shows us how respecting our imperfect selves allows us to acknowledge, honor and nurture the goodness and grace in everyone.

A professional artist, teacher and life-long learner, her book, Golem Girl is a MUST READ for all of us now and forever. It is a wondrous, beautifully poetic masterwork filled with honesty, respect, kindness, integrity, humor and love.

As humans we are each unique but more significantly all the same.

Best book I've read this year, and probably for many years.

(This review does not do this book justice.)
  Bookish59 | Sep 17, 2022 |
I'd need 10000 words to explain why this is a fabulous book.

Lehrer writes as well as she paints. The book captures so much crip experience. It's presented in short chapters to savor between bad pain days. I wish the images were bigger, but she does provide exquisite image description. ( )
  JesseTheK | Feb 12, 2021 |
Terrific memoir. Lehrer is a visual artist who was born in the 1950s with spina bifida, in a decidedly pre–disability rights era, and she weaves both of those—her life as a disabled (queer, opinionated, brilliant) woman and her art-making—deftly and intriguingly. Highly recommended. ( )
2 stem lisapeet | Nov 8, 2020 |
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"What do we sacrifice in the pursuit of normalcy? And what becomes possible when we embrace monstrosity? In 1958, Riva is one of the first children born with spina bifida to survive. Her parents and doctors are determined to 'fix' her, sending the message over and over again that she is broken. That she will never have a job, a romantic relationship, or an independent life. Enduring countless medical interventions, Riva tries her best to be a good girl and a good patient in the quest to be cured. Everything changes when, as an adult, Riva is invited to join a group of artists, writers, and performers who are building Disability Culture. Their work is daring, edgy, funny, and dark; it rejects tropes that define disabled people as pathetic, frightening, or worthless. They insist that disability is an opportunity for creativity and resistance. Emboldened, Riva asks if she can paint their portraits--an intimate and collaborative process that will transform the way she sees herself, others, and the world. With each portrait, and each person's story, the myths she's been told her whole life--about her body, her sexuality, and the value of normalcy--begin to crumble. Written with the vivid, cinematic prose of a visual artist, and the love and playfulness that defines all of Riva's work, Golem Girl is an extraordinary story of survival and creativity. With the author's magnificent portraits featured throughout, this memoir invites us to stretch ourselves toward a world where bodies flow between all possible forms of what it is to be human"--

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