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Keah Brown's 'The Pretty One' Is A Candid Look At Life With A Disability

 

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The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me
By Keah Brown
(Atria Books)


In her candid memoir, author Keah Brown comes across like an affable seatmate on a long flight. Her writing is comfortable, conversational, and woven with ribbons of hard-earned self-awareness. Brown is young, Black, and disabled, and she writes a great deal about the work she’s done to love herself in a world that tries to tell her, for instance, that essential oils will help cure her cerebral palsy. (Note: they will not, but she is practiced at responding to this kind of unsolicited advice from strangers.)

The title comes from the fact that Brown is a twin. She’s had a complicated journey learning to bond and communicate with her sister, whose able-bodied experience has been so different from her own. But discussing pop culture is one way she has found to open important dialogues on access and gaps in representation. Also included is a compelling love letter to chairs—some she has long loved, others she’s had flings with. There is humor and heart here, as one might correctly expect coming from the creator of the viral #disabledandcute hashtag. (3/5)

By Christine Femia

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

 

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