Golem Girl: A Memoir

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2020

In 1958, amongst the chil­dren born with spina bifi­da is Riva Lehrer. 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. They insist that dis­abil­i­ty is an oppor­tu­ni­ty for cre­ativ­i­ty and resis­tance. Embold­ened, Riva asks if she can paint their por­traits‚ invent­ing an inti­mate and col­lab­o­ra­tive process that will trans­form the way she sees her­self, oth­ers, and the world. Each por­trait sto­ry begins to trans­form the myths she’s been told her whole life about her body, her sex­u­al­i­ty, and oth­er mea­sures of nor­mal. Writ­ten with the vivid, cin­e­mat­ic prose of a visu­al artist and the author’s mag­nif­i­cent por­traits fea­tured through­out, Golem Girl is an extra­or­di­nary sto­ry of tenac­i­ty and creativity.

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