Susan Nussbaum biography

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Susan Nussbaum

Susan Nussbaum

Susan Nussbaum Biography

Susan Nussbaum is a playwright, novelist, and a long time disability rights activist. She won the 2012 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction for her novel Good Kings Bad Kings. Two of her plays have been published: Mishuganismo in the anthology Staring Back: The Disability Experience from the Inside Out and No One As Nasty in Beyond Victims and Villains: Contemporary Plays by Disabled Playwrights. She is most interested in creating authentic disabled characters and all of her plays, as well as her novel, feature disabled characters prominently.

As a disability rights activist, Nussbaum started one of the earliest groups for girls with disabilities, the Empowered Fe Fes. For her work with disabled girls over the years, she was named as one of 50 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World by the Utne Reader in 2008.

Susan Nussbaum's website

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Interview

An essay by Susan Nussbaum, author of Good Kings Bad Kings in which she talks about how a debilitating injury changed her career - and her entire outlook on life.

I used to wonder where all the writers who have used disabled characters so liberally in their work were doing their research. When I became a wheelchair-user in the late '70s, all I knew about being disabled I learned from reading books and watching movies, and that scared the shit out of me. Tiny Tim was long-suffering and angelic and was cured at the end. Quasimodo was a monster who loved in vain and was killed at the end, but it was for the best. Lenny was a child who killed anything soft, and George had to shoot him. It was a mercy killing. Ahab was a bitter amputee and didn't care how many died in his mad pursuit to avenge himself on a whale. Laura Wingfield had a limp so no man would ever love her.

This imagery fresh in my mind, my own future seemed to hold little promise. I had been in acting school at the time I was injured. As all of the theaters were now inaccessible to me, both behind the stage and in front, and the chances of any director in the world hiring me were remote, I decided I had no choice but to reinvent myself.

I joined the disability rights movement, barely organized in Chicago back then, and quickly came to realize that I was not alone. My surprisingly militant comrades and I addressed ourselves ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Susan Nussbaum at BookBrowse
Good Kings Bad Kings jacket
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Susan Nussbaum but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Naomi Benaron

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    Naomi Benaron is a fiction writer, a poet, and a social activist - all entwined. She has worked extensively with the African refugee population in her community, teaches online through the Afghan Women's Writing Project, has ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Good Kings Bad Kings

    Try:
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    by Naomi Benaron

  • Ann Cummins

    Ann Cummins

    A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Arizona writing programs, Ann Cummins is the author of Red Ant House, a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and Best Book of the Year. She has had her stories ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Good Kings Bad Kings

    Try:
    Yellowcake
    by Ann Cummins

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