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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
We've all felt it -- that humiliating awareness that people are staring at us because of a flaw in our appearance. Perhaps it's a pimple that feels like Mount Vesuvius, or a red and scaly rash. For most of us, the problem heals before long, and we blend right back in. But how do you handle it when the difference is permanent?
\ \ That's the subject of Connolly's remarkable memoir, Double Take, which chronicles his efforts to record, explain, and ultimately come to terms with the stares he has endured throughout his life. Connolly, you see, was born without legs. Entirely normal in every other way, he adapted to his condition by learning to move around by skateboard, which he found easier and more convenient than a wheelchair. Encouraged by his parents, he refused to let his condition slow him down, and by the time he was 23, he had won acclaim as a mono-ski competitor at the X Games and had traveled the globe.
\ \ Yet wherever he went, people stared, trying to figure out what had happened to him. Stung by their insensitivity, he began to take pictures of them as they stared. What started out as retaliation soon spurred deep self-reflection, as Connolly was forced to ask himself if he was allowing his condition to define him. After reading his story, you'll never look at a stranger the same way again. \ (Holiday 2009 Selection)