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Paperback Poster Child Book

ISBN: 1596915056

ISBN13: 9781596915053

Poster Child

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Emily Rapp was born with a congenital defect that required, at the age of four, that her left foot be amputated. By the time she was eight she'd had dozens of operations, had lost most of her leg, from just above the knee, and had become the smiling, indefatigable "poster child" for the March of Dimes. For years she made appearances at church suppers and rodeos, giving pep talks about how normal and happy she was. All the while she was learning to...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Beautifully written

A beautifully written account of a young woman's life. Although her leg is amputated due to a birth defect, she struggles, survives, and thrives. I was most struck by her honesty in the telling of her story and of her own and her parents' courage. Deeply moving, very worthwhile.

More than a disability memoir

Rapp, Emily. Poster Child: A Memoir. New York: Bloomsbury, 2007. Poster Child takes an unflinching look at the author's congenital impairment, Proximal Focal Femoral Deficiency, an abnormality involving maldeveloment of her left femur and related complications. This required an amputation of the affected foot in order to fit a prosthesis, then a series of 10 or so revisions, many involving major surgery. The author is as focused as a laser and devoid of self-pity in recounting the surgical traumata, the pain and indignity of the procedures, and the requirement that as a young child she had to lie prone in a body cast for weeks on end. Inevitably, this included fears of unworthiness in a society that sets a high premium on feminine pulchritude; adolescent angst concerning self-image increased by an order of magnitude due to the presence of the artificial limb. The limb itself, a complex device, was capable of embarrassing malfunction, noisiness, the sudden eversion of the foot as well as difficulties wioth proper fit. She dealt with her problem by being "perfect," a high achiever which included being the chirpy poster child for The March of Dimes, the student manager of the girls volleyball, basketball, and track teams in junior high, studies at St. Olaf's College, a Fulbright Scholarship, Harvard Divinitiy School, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Texas-Austin. The language of Poster Child coupled with a profound perceptiveness and often lyrically beautiful: "...sooner or later, the pain ends up in your heart, and that's where it stays...Words spoken aloud in your own moonlit bed--crippled, deformed, unlovable--find their own darkness then come back for you (127)." Emily Rapp's Poster Child is more than a disability memoir. It could serve as a text book case for how to write an autobiography. It is a coming of age story told with gritty frankness, but more so, a deeply human story of loss, renewal and redemption. §

devoured this book

I read this book on a flight from Orlando to LA in one sitting and loved every minute of it! I first heard Emily on Terry Gross on NPR and as soon as I heard her talking I knew I would love her book. I was not disappointed at all. Wonderful!

Of the many, many memoirs I've read, this is the best!

Poster Child tells a delightful and deep story that touches on universal truths and yet takes the reader into a world that is uniquely Emily Rapp's. The writing is exquisite--not a word in the book that seems unnecessary or out of place. I couldn't put this book down...stayed home and read it cover to cover. When I was finished, I felt that it was one of those few books that has the power to really change how one looks at the world.
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