Disabilities Portrayal in Contemporary Fiction: An Ongoing Discussion
Presenters: Edith F. Miller and Julianne Walton, Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society
This presentation is the third in a series that reviews fiction for the portrayal of characters with disabilities. Books from different genres which portray characters with disabilities as non-stereotypical and positive have been selected based on the following criteria:
- Work and characters must be fictional; biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, and historical fiction are excluded.
- Fiction must be directed toward an adult audience; children’s and adolescent fiction are excluded.
- The work must be contemporary fiction, preferably published since 2000, but definitely post-ADA.
- The character with a disability must be an adult and a protagonist, or main character.
- The character with a disability must be three-dimensional and engage in the same type of experiences, problems, emotions and relationships as have countless fictional characters without disabilities.
The following books have been chosen:
- The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
- 1222 by Anne Holt
- Unseen by Karin Slaughter
- The King by J. R. Ward (Adult content)
Please feel free to read one or more of the books to engage in the discussion.
The Cuckoo’s Calling – Cormoran Strike
- How does Strike’s prosthesis function as both a protection and a barrier for social interaction?
- How does, or does Strike’s perspective of his disability change during the book?
1222 – Hanne Wilhelmsen
- What do you think of Hanne’s assessment of her disability, and its effect on her and the people around her?
- The setting is obviously quite crucial to the novel: discuss the role it plays in the story, especially as relates to Hanne.
Unseen – Will Trent
- How does Will compensate for his disability?
- How does Will view himself because of his disability?
The King – J.R. Ward
- How does Wrath use or not use his disability as a warrior king?
- How does his disability affect his view of Beth’s desire to have a child?
Dark Lover by J.R. Ward is the first book with Wrath as the protagonist and Lover Avenged is the book where Wrath loses his sight and gets George.
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