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Portrait of the Artist's Mother: Dignity, Creativity and Disability
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Fiona Place
Portrait of the Artist's Mother: Dignity, Creativity and Disability by Fiona Place at Abbey's Bookshop,

Portrait of the Artist's Mother: Dignity, Creativity and Disability

Fiona Place


Spinifex Press

Biography: general;
Disability: social aspects;
Coping with disability


300 pages

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I am seen by many as a danger. As having failed to understand the new rules, the new paradigm of successful motherhood. A memoir and an examination of the politics of disability. Fiona Place describes the pressure from medical institutions to undergo screening during pregnancy and the traumatic nature and assumptions that a child with Trisomy 21 should not live, even though people with Down syndrome do live rich and productive lives. Fiona's son, Fraser, has become an artist and his prize-winning paintings have been exhibited in galleries in Sydney and Canberra. How does a mother get from the grieving silence of the birthing room through the horrified comments of other mothers to the applause at gallery openings? This is a story of courage, love and commitment to the idea that all people, including those who are 'less than perfect', have a right to be welcomed into this increasingly imperfect world.

By:   Fiona Place
Imprint:   Spinifex Press
Country of Publication:   Australia
Edition:   None ed.
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 152mm, 
ISBN:   9781925581751
ISBN 10:   1925581756
Pages:   300
Publication Date:   April 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Fiona Place combines motherhood with her work as a writer and an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities.

Fiona Place is one of our great truth-tellers. There is no other writer like her. -Amanda Lohrey, award-winning fiction writer. DIGNITY, CREATIVITY This is a wide-ranging, deeply personal examination of the writer's approach to parenting AND DISABILITY a son with Down syndrome. There is no sugar-coating, no `angels' or `forever children', but the very real life, great love and perceptive thinking of one mother, one son, one family, forging a good life in twenty first century Australia. -Jill O'Connor, disability advocate A powerful must-read book with three strands. Fiona shares her own life as she explores the impact of childhood family relationships on later motherhood, the rights and abilities of individuals with Down syndrome and questions the ethics of current termination programmes. I hope this book provokes widespread debate of these issues. -Professor Sue Buckley OBE, psychologist, Down Syndrome Education International Portrait of the Artist's Mother illuminates all that is wrong with a society that expects children and mothers to be `perfect'. With carefully crafted prose, Fiona Place pushes back against negative assumptions that people with Down syndrome cannot have engaging and fulfilling lives. Her work, irradiated by her love for her son Fraser, is a delight to read. -Jessica White, author of Hearing Maud Written with extraordinary courage and searing honesty, the author takes the reader on a vivid, sometimes painful, yet life-affirming journey of hope. This book both commands and deserves attention as a creative work and provides unique insight into disability and motherhood. -Miriam Stevenson PhD, disability consultant

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