Carnal Acts: Essays

Overview

Acclaimed personal writing from one of our most outspoken essayists, on disability, on family, on being an impolite woman, and on the opportunities and “gifts” of a difficult life.

Explores the challenges of living with multiple sclerosis.

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Overview

Acclaimed personal writing from one of our most outspoken essayists, on disability, on family, on being an impolite woman, and on the opportunities and “gifts” of a difficult life.

Explores the challenges of living with multiple sclerosis.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Eloquent and remarkable. . . .I closed Carnal Acts feeling a hundred times more prepared for whatever perils and joys lie ahead of me. —Barbara Kingsolver

"The heart of the book is the story of a highly intelligent and witty woman dealing with multiple sclerosis, a woman living in the grip of fear, confronting that fear and pushing through the terror to find joy. It is above all for this story—for the author's ability to see life whole—that the book should be read."—Laurie Graham, New York Times Book Review

"A seamlessly constructed mix of autobiographical data, keyhole peeking, anger, affection and sheer grit."—Carol Freundlich, Bloomsbury Review

"Mairs writes . . . with scrupulous, sometimes discomforting honesty—and often with an unruly wit. . . . Let us hope she will do so again." —Janet Kaye, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Library Journal
Comprising previously published columns, ``working'' essays, and a short story, this collection provides a clear and trenchant portrait of a literary woman working within the context of both our shared contemporary culture and a personal physical disability. As in Remembering the Bone House (LJ 4/1/89), Mairs provides an unflinching analysis of the effects of multiple sclerosis on her personal, professional, and emotional life. While each of these pieces may best be read alone, together they succeed in announcing a coherent and compelling consciousness of the effects and countereffects of physical limitation, social trust, fear, and courage. For creative writing collections as well as libraries serving caretakers, families, and afflicted persons--in short, for most general readers.--Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley P.L., Cal.
Janet Kaye
Mairs writes... with scrupulous, sometimes discomforting honesty - and often with an unruly wit... let us hope she will do so again.
&#!51; Los Angeles Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807070857
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 6/30/1996
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 172
  • Sales rank: 1,414,264
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Table of Contents

But First, 1
Shape 19
"Hers" Columns 31
On Uttering the Unspeakable 53
Faith and Loving in Las Vegas 65
Carnal Acts 81
Challenge: An Exploration 97
Doing It the Hard Way 107
Good Enough Gifts 117
I'm Afraid. I'm Afraid. I'm Afraid. 135
Where I Never Dreamed I'd Go, and What I Did There 147
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