Sitting Pretty:
Innovative One-Book Selection

October 4, 2023

Rebekah Taussig’s book, Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body, is filtered through her own experiences. She has been paralyzed since she was 3 years old.

In the preface Taussig says that she is “not — by any stretch of the imagination — the representative of all disabled people.”

Taussig continues, “I would be doing all of us a great disservice if I led you to believe the conversation starts and ends with bodies and experiences like mine.”

In selecting her 2020 memoir for the One-Book project in Bakersfield, CA, organizers took a similar cue, packing the programming with a variety of community groups and speakers who represent different types of disabilities. It’s an unusual choice for a One-Book selection.

In recent years, One-Book community reading programs have had a surge in popularity. Typically offered by local libraries, these projects serve as a unifying force within communities, furthering a shared connection to literature through reading and discussion.

Lynne Kemmer the local One-Book coordinator says, “Taussig specifically mentions seeing disability depicted as monstrous or angelic. Her experience is to tell her story and how it’s very complex but also very ordinary.”

In offering everyday stories of her life, she aims to show the eye-opening details of living with a disability. “She’s a fierce advocate for the need for more stories and more voices, to understand the diversity of humanity,” Kemmer also says.

Choosing this book is a step in that direction.

To read more about Rebekah’s life and story see our 2020 blogpost about her by clicking here.

2 responses to “Sitting Pretty:”

  1. For another story of living 50+ years as a wheelchair user see my book “Wheelchair Bound?” I question the ridiculousness of that term. Every disability is different, and as a C5/6 spinal cord injured quad I have seen many changes over the years. I do not think of my life as extraordinary, but I think of it as fulfilled. The more people with disabilities share their stories and interact in society I hope awareness and accessibility will continue to increase.
    James LaBelle

  2. “She’s a fierce advocate for the need for more stories and more voices, to understand the diversity of humanity” I need some of that advocacy. I wrote my memoir of 50 years pushing “Wheelchair Bound?” I chose the title to question the absurdity of the term. Popular media often portrays quadriplegia as a death sentence. I think it is important for people to see that becoming a wheelchair user does not end your life. I have had little success promoting my book. Partially because I don’t know what I am doing, but I also believe a little luck is involved. A mention here or there can be a game changer. Even if my book is not a best seller, I would like feedback. How do I let people know about my story?

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