Books·Canadian

Falling for Myself

Falling for Myself is a memoir by Dorothy Ellen Palmer.

Dorothy Ellen Palmer

In this searing and seriously funny memoir Dorothy Ellen Palmer falls down, a lot, and spends a lifetime learning to appreciate it. Born with congenital anomalies in both feet, then called birth defects, she was adopted as a toddler by a wounded 1950s family who had no idea how to handle the tangled complexities of adoption and disability. From repeated childhood surgeries to an activist awakening at university to decades as a feminist teacher, mom, improv coach and unionist, she tried to hide being different. But now, in this book, she's standing proud with her walker and sharing her journey. With savvy comic timing that spares no one, not even herself, Palmer takes on Tiny Tim, shoe shopping, adult diapers, childhood sexual abuse, finding her birth parents, ableism and ageism. In Falling for Myself, she reckons with her past and with everyone's future, and allows herself to fall and get up and fall again, knees bloody, but determined to seek Disability Justice, to insist we all be seen, heard, included and valued for who we are. (From Wolsak & Wynn)

Why Dorothy Ellen Palmer wrote Falling for Myself

"Eventually, over time I began to realize and discover the online disability community, particularly Stella Young, who was a comedian and activist who talked very specifically about how inaccessibility wasn't her problem, it was the world's problem.

I could come out of the closet and be proud of who I was.- Dorothy Ellen Palmer

"That was like a huge wonderful bursting of the dam for me because Stella made me proud. She made me realize that I wasn't the problem, ableism was the problem, inaccessibility was the problem and that I didn't have to be ashamed anymore, that I could come out of the closet and be proud of who I was."

Read more in her interview with The Next Chapter.

Interviews with Dorothy Ellen Palmer

Dorothy Ellen Palmer on her candid memoir Falling for Myself, about coming to terms with her past and overcoming her sense of shame at being a disabled person. 3:38

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