…disability is too often excluded in discussions of diversity, a good deal of which, for good reason, focuses on race. This silence is especially noteworthy because disability crosses racial, gender, sexuality, class, and national boundaries.
MFAW-VT faculty member Kenny Fries has published a response to Lionel Shriver’s recent attack on Penguin/Random House UK’s push for diversity online at Medium. The piece is called “The Exclusivity of Inclusion: On Disability and Diversity” In the article he
As a disabled writer, for over two decades I’ve looked at how disability is represented in our literature. This interest has taken me across the globe, with a special focus in disability representation in Japan, and more recently in Germany. I’ve taught classes and given talks on disability representation at many universities and conferences in North America, Japan, and Europe.
Twenty years ago, I edited Staring Back: The Disability Experience from the Inside Out, the first commercially published multi-genre anthology of writers with disabilities writing about disability. The anthology was published by Plume. In the introduction, I wrote: “Throughout history, people with disabilities have been stared out. Now, here in these pages — in literature of inventive form, at times harrowingly funny, at times provocatively wise — writers with disabilities affirm our lives by putting the world on notice that we are staring back.”
Online today at The New York Times, Goddard MFA faculty member Kenny Fries asks: “What kind of society do we want to be?” In “The Nazis’ First Victims Were the Disabled,” Kenny Fries writes about the echoes of the extermination of the “unfit”
Gay, disabled and Jewish: “An ex calls it the Nazi Trifecta, three marks under Nazism,” Kenny Fries explains – only to segue into another dark joke about the lack of accessibility in concentration camps.
MFAW-VT faculty member Kenny Fries‘s memoir, In the Province of the Gods, will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press, Fall 2017. Mira Bartok, author of The Memory Palace, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times