Elizabeth Grubgeld BA ’74

Posted 09/09/2022

Elizabeth Grubgeld BA ’74 authors Disability and Life Writing in Post-Independence Ireland, winner of the 2021 Rhodes Prize for Outstanding Book in Irish Literature and Culture. It is the first book to examine life writing and disability in the context of Irish culture. Ranging from Sean O’Casey’s 1939 childhood memoir to contemporary blogging practices, Disability and Life Writing in Post-Independence Ireland analyzes a century of autobiographical writing about the social, psychological, economic, and physical dimensions of living with disabilities. The book examines memoirs of sight loss, with reference to class and labor conditions, the harrowing stories of residential institutions and the advent of the independent living movement, and the autobiographical fiction of such acknowledged literary figures as Christy Brown and playwright Stewart Parker. Extending the discussion to the contemporary moment, popular genres such as the sports and celebrity autobiography are explored, as well as such newer phenomena, such as blogging and self-referential performance art. It will be valuable to readers interested in disability studies, Irish studies, autobiography and life writing, working-class literature, popular culture, and new media. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020. 181 pages.