cover of book
 

How I Became a Human Being: A Disabled Man’s Quest for Independence
by Mark O'Brien
contributions by Gillian Kendall
University of Wisconsin Press, 2003
Cloth: 978-0-299-18430-8 | eISBN: 978-0-299-18433-9 | Paper: 978-0-299-18434-6
Library of Congress Classification RM930.5.U6O24 2003
Dewey Decimal Classification 362.1968350092

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC | REQUEST ACCESSIBLE FILE
ABOUT THIS BOOK
In September 1955 six-year-old Mark O’Brien moved his arms and legs for the last time. He came out of a coma to find himself enclosed from the neck down in an iron lung, the machine in which he would live for much of the rest of his life.
    For the first time in paperback, How I Became a Human Being is O’Brien’s account of his struggles to lead an independent life despite a lifelong disability. In 1955 he contracted polio and became permanently paralyzed from the neck down. O’Brien describes growing up without the use of his limbs, his adolescence struggling with physical rehabilitation and suffering the bureaucracy of hospitals and institutions, and his adult life as an independent student and writer. Despite his physical limitations, O’Brien crafts a narrative that is as rich and vivid as the life he led.
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