Thursday, June 16, 2011

Top 10 disability stories

Katharine Quarmby is a writer, journalist and film-maker specializing in social affairs, education, foreign affairs and politics, with an investigative and campaigning edge. She has spent most of her working life as a journalist and has made many films for the BBC, as well as working as a correspondent for The Economist, contributing to British broadsheets, including the Guardian, Sunday Times and the Telegraph. She is now an associate editor at Prospect magazine.

Scapegoat, her first non-fiction book on disability hate crime for adults, is now available in the UK.

One of Quarmby's top ten disability stories, as told to the Guardian:
Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville (1851)

Herman Melville's Captain Ahab, who hunts the Great White whale that tore off his leg, is an unforgettable character – a physically disabled character that is quite clearly not unmanned by his impairment. He is, instead described as standing firm on his ivory leg, with an "infinity of firmest fortitude, a determinate, unsurrendable wilfulness" to hunt down Moby-Dick. On the other hand, his obsession with killing the animal that disabled him is disturbing, to say the least.
Read about the other stories on the list.

Moby-Dick also appears among Jonathan Evison's six favorite books, Bella Bathurst's top 10 books on the sea, John Mullan's list of ten of the best tattoos in literature, Susan Cheever's five best books about obsession, Christopher Buckley's best books, Jane Yolen's five most important books, Chris Dodd's best books, Augusten Burroughs' five most important books, Norman Mailer's top ten works of literature, David Wroblewski's five most important books, Russell Banks' five most important books, and Philip Hoare's top ten books about whales.

--Marshal Zeringue