|Genre||Novel (256 pp.)|
|Keywords||Acculturation, Adolescence, Alternative Medicine, Children, Chronic Illness/Chronic Disease, Cross-Cultural Issues, Disability, Disease and Health, Family Relationships, Freedom, Human Worth, Illness and the Family, Institutionalization, Loneliness, Love, Narrative as Method, Ordinary Life, Patient Experience, Psycho-social Medicine, Rebellion, Sexuality, Society, Suffering, Time|
This is an autobiographical novel in which the author relates the emotional life of a childhood and young manhood lived with cerebral palsy. The disease is never named (except on the fly-leaf of the book cover); its impact is revealed through incidents and personal relationships experienced by the protagonist in a narration which reflects by its style, the intellectual maturation from childhood to adulthood.
As a child, Felix spends long periods in a children’s home, to receive therapy and educational training, and to relieve his family of the strain of his care. Felix learns to walk with painstaking effort and surges of determination, but the reactions of others, even of his mother, make clear that he is not normal. His social life is complicated by anti-semitism and by just being from a different religious background. With puberty comes sexual longing and the need for female affection, and eventually the painful recognition that his desire will not be reciprocated. What saves Felix is the life of the mind and a love of literature and writing which a few influential mentors and a clever, similarly disabled friend help him to develop.
The author is a poet, and, like the protagonist, South African, Jewish, and disabled with cerebral palsy.
|Annotated by||Aull, Felice|
|Date of Entry||02/09/94|