Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal,
At first, I worried that my obsession with The Fault in Our Stars (hiding in my bedroom all weekend reading it on my iPad, ugly-crying through the climax, and ordering it in hardcover - with expedited shipping - so my kids could read it as soon as was humanly possible) was like a middle-aged woman at a Justin Bieber concert, bedecked in a sequined t-shirt and jeggings, eyeliner melting as she swoons.
In other words, was it kind of sad that, at 45 years old, I so connected with a novel written for teenagers?
The book is sheer genius, often referenced by thinkers I respect. Today, for instance, my friend, the brilliant Ellen Painter Dollar writes about disability and access and the notion of "bodily betrayals," and connects to the novel.
"Betrayal. It’s a word that comes up often when we’re talking about bodies that become sick or impaired. We can feel betrayed by a body whose aches and pains and limits keep us from doing all we need or would like to do. Years ago, I preached a sermon at my little coffee-house church in Washington, DC, about feeling betrayed by my crooked, fragile body. Afterward, a friend said she couldn’t accept the idea of bodily betrayal because body, mind, and spirit are so linked. She was a muscle-bound runner who gave birth to her babies at home. Of course she didn’t understand this idea. Her body had never betrayed her. It had always done exactly what she wanted it to."
Read the rest her post on Convergent's blog here.
by Jennifer Grant
I'm a writer (two works of nonfiction are out; two more will be published in 2014.)