At long last, an essay on the politics and poetics of queer disability. Eli Clare, a poet with cerebral palsy, movingly describes her attempt to climb Mount Adams--not, she points out, as a "supercrip," like the boy without hands who bats .486 on his Little League team, but just as an impaired person who loves to hike: a story about ableism rather than disability. Avoiding easy answers and journalistic sunshine, she recounts the story of the fight for disabled access, touching on the history of the freak show. She tracks the origins of her own tenacity and self-knowledge to her rural Oregon upbringing and the conflicting personality of her father--who sexually abused her, but also taught her how to frame a house, how to use a chainsaw. "I think of the words crip, queer, freak, redneck," Clare remarks. "None of these are easy words. They mark the jagged edge between self-hatred and pride, the chasm between how the dominant culture views marginalized peoples and how we view ourselves, the razor between finding home, finding our bodies, and living in exile, living on the metaphoric mountain." --Regina Marler
"Eli Clare is a woman who writes because she loves to write, and in the doing she carries us into new terrain with strength, grace, and courage. Clare locates herself in her particular geography, body, and class, teasing out the power and the pain of crip, queer, freak, and redneck-the gift to us of this particular clear spirit finding her way home." -- Mab Segrest, author, Memoir of a Race Traitor
"Eli Clare writes with the spirit of a poet and the precision and toughness of a construction worker. Her view of the world is not modest or limited, but rather full of the hidden life that most of us miss because we haven't looked closely. The passion and skill of her writing will draw you inside a complex life and more deeply inside yourself." -- Jewelle Gomez, author, The Gilda Stories
"Eli Clare's Exile and Pride is a call to awareness, an exhortation for each of us to examine our connection to and alienation from our environment, our sexuality, and each other." -- Kenny Fries, author of Body, Remember: A Memoir and editor of Staring Back: The Disability Experience From The Inside Out
"Eli Clare's original work exploring the interstices between class, environmentalism, radical gender politics and disability consciousness moves beyond the false compartmentalization that has characterized progressive politics in the nineties, and toward a viable radical politics for the twenty-first century." -- Ynestra King, co-editor, Dangerous Intersections
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.