Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse

Shane Burcaw. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-62672-770-0
In his second memoir, a collection of 23 essays, Burcaw candidly shares hilarious, cringe-worthy, and poignant stories about his life and living with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Readers gain a deeper understanding of Burcaw as the collection progresses—he discusses making jokes to diffuse tension after a “pee fiasco” as a child and becoming a man who uses shocking humor to challenge assumptions about his life. Burcaw juxtaposes introspective and sometimes painful memories with incisive observations on how disability is perceived. Regarding a childhood experience as a guest on the annual MDA Labor Day Telethon, where he was portrayed as pitiable in order to raise money: “Society had it wrong, but their wrongness is so deeply ingrained from centuries of outcasting the disabled that it didn’t help to get angry.” From his sex life to first attempts at trying marijuana edibles, Burcaw doesn’t shy away from topics that might be considered delicate; instead, he emphasizes the awkwardness, celebrating highs and lows alike. Above all, Burcaw succeeds in illustrating that “disability does not equal sadness.” Ages 14–18. Agent: Tina Wexler at ICM. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/31/2019
Release date: 04/30/2019
Genre: Children's
MP3 CD - 978-1-79972-297-7
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-250-23316-5
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