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My Withered Legs and Other Essays (Paperback)

My Withered Legs and Other Essays By Sandra Gail Lambert Cover Image
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My Withered Legs and Other Essays is a collection of personal essays by Sandra Gail Lambert that reflects upon her experience becoming a writer alongside discussions of disability, queerness, and aging. A seventy-year history of disability is threaded throughout these essays and intertwined with writing that celebrates lesbian love, explores the slapstick moments of life, and shares the obstacles and triumphs of becoming a writer later in life.

The essays chronicle times of interruption and then adaptation as the disability skill of always just figuring it out becomes tested with age and with illness. Throughout the book, Lambert engages with topics of ageism and ableism through storytelling rich with wit and contemplation.

From childhood Lambert believed as a disabled person she was "ice floe material" rife for abandonment, and during the pandemic she ticks off the additional comorbidities--age, fatness, cancer, a heart attack--that groups her with the expendable. In the essay "Gimp Humor," she is threatened with a ticket for not coming to a full stop while strolling along in her wheelchair. Underpinning the humor is an analysis of whiteness and the wariness that can be lodged, or not, in a body.

Other essays reimagine the meaning of "Old Lady Dabbler," recount kayaking among a hundred alligators, and tell the romantic, laden-with-power-dynamics tale of two lesbians in their sixties who fall in love. Another essay explores the family story, truth embellished with fiction, of Lambert's mother finding an unexploded bomb nestled in her parents' bed. This tale of the London Blitz delves into the increasingly common experience of "emergence" after a disaster and the necessity of becoming, especially for marginalized communities, our own first responders.

About the Author

SANDRA GAIL LAMBERT is the author of the memoir A Certain Loneliness, which was nominated for the Krause Essay Prize and the Lambda Literary Award, and a novel, The River's Memory. Lambert's writing has been widely anthologized, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Sun Magazine, The Paris Review, Orion, LitHub, and The Southern Review. She was a 2018 NEA Creative Writing Fellow.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780820365909
ISBN-10: 0820365904
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication Date: March 1st, 2024
Pages: 152
Language: English