The Amputee’s Guide to Sex

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Paperback | 5.5 x 8.25 | ISBN 9781593760205
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A Los Angeles Review Best Book of the Year

“If they see the half-limb then they become inhibited, nervous. They think: ‘Will it hurt like this? Would she tell me if it did?’ Mobility shows confidence. Think for two people. Know where your limbs are at all times; know where your partner’s limbs are at all times.”

When Jillian Weise wrote The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, it was with the intention of changing the conversation around disability; essentially, she was tired of seeing “cripples” portrayed as asexual characters. The collection that resulted is a powerful lesson in desire, the body, pain, and possession. These poems interrogate medical language and history, imagine Mona Lisa in a wheelchair, rewrite Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “In the Waiting Room,” address a lover’s arsonist ex-girlfriend, and show the prosthesis as the object of male curiosity and lust. Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, called the book a “charged and daring debut” and described Jillian Weise as an “agile and powerful poet . . . speaking boldly and compassionately about a little-discussed subject that becomes universal in her careful hands.”

Ten years since its first publication, our culture continues to grapple with questions limned in this collection. In a new introduction, Weise revisits and recontextualizes her work, revealing its urgency to our present moment. What are the challenges of speaking “for” a community? How to resist the institutionalization of ableist paradigms? How are atypical bodies silenced? Where do our corporeal selves intersect with our technologies?

An elegant examination of intimacy and disability and a fearless dissection of the taboo and the hidden.

 
Los Angeles Times
1/5

An agile and powerful poet, Weise references medical literature, history and poetry, speaking boldly and compassionately about a little-discussed subject that becomes universal in her careful hands.

 
Publishers Weekly, starred review
2/5

With deadpan heartbreak and powerful invention, Jillian Weise raids the border-territories between the human body and the arts.

 
—Josh Bell, author of No Planets Strike
3/5

Weise’s book is fiercely and unabashedly feminist. In reading it, I was reminded of the role of the body in that troublesome triangle of sex, love, and politics.

 
So to Speak Journal
4/5

The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, is a bold investigation of disability and sexuality.

 
—Poetry Foundation
5/5

Jillian Weise is a poet, performance artist and disability rights activist. She is the author of The Amputee’s Guide to Sex (2007), The Colony (2010) and The Book of Goodbyes (2013), which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and the Isabella Gardner Award from BOA Editions. Her work has appeared in A Public Space, The Huffington Post and The New York Times and many other publications. Weise is the recipient of residencies and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, the Fulbright Program, the Lannan Foundation, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is an Associate Professor at Clemson University.

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