By Kevin Michael Connolly
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061791536, 240pp.)
Publication Date: October 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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From Kevin Connolly:
"I was bitten nearly in half by a shark while swimming in New Zealand. I was a victim of a Serbian mortar round in Sarajevo during the Balkan wars. I have been the victim of a dozen car accidents - head on collisions, vehicle rolls, and pedestrian injuries. I have been the purveyor of magic tricks for children - a routine often involving mirrors and a trapdoor. I have been a beggar and vagabond - panhandling across countries with varying degrees of success. I have also been a holy man - bringing moments of inspiration and light to those who chose to look for it.
I am none these things - and I am all of them. My name is Kevin Michael Connolly and I was born in Helena, Montana on August 18th, 1985. I was also born without legs.
All my life I′ve been an object of curiosity, the subject of a stare. But, while I have shouldered the stares and stories of others, the story of how I′ve managed to travel the world is uniquely my own. DOUBLE TAKE is my story, and it begins in many ways the day I was placed on prosthetic stilts at the age of eight.
In an attempt to capture the moments of intense curiosity I experience on a daily basis, I traveled to 17 countries and took over 32,728 photographs of people staring at me. In Zurich, I raced down the Limmat River against a group of twenty Vikings. In Bosnia, I scrambled to collect my groceries after being side swiped by a car. In Malaysia, I got caught in torrential rainstorms and had to skate and paddle with one hand, while keeping my camera above the rising tide with the other."
Born without legs, raised in Montana, and now a skateboarding world traveler, Kevin Michael Connolly has seen the world in a way most people never will. His internationally acclaimed photo series, The Rolling Exhibition, which encompasses seventeen countries and more than 30,000 photographs of people staring at him, has been featured in museums and galleries around the world.
People tend to stare at Kevin Michael Connolly: He's cute, fit, funny and a champion skier. The stares are usually inspired by something else, though; Connolly was born without legs. With his memoir, Double Take, out now in paperback Connolly talks with NPR's Scott Simon about dealing with unwanted public attention -- and the benefits of skateboarding. More at NPR.org
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“[Double Take] reminds the reader that perspective is everything. It’s an inspiring read about a human being who doesn’t concern himself with what he has lost or never had. [Kevin Connolly] is a lucky man, sharing his bounty with us.”
-Sacramento Book Review
“Life’s most successful survivors meet adversity head on, with an unflinching eye, candor and with humor. Kevin Connolly has such an eye and weaves a rich memoir from the gut about his amazing journey through life.”
-Lee Woodruff, author of In an Instant
“Beautiful, revealing, and stimulating...[Connolly] is a good storyteller...whether describing his first high school wrestling match, the path from novice to champion skier or what it’s like to travel around the world on a skateboard.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A courageous, immensely rewarding chronicle expressed in arresting words and pictures.”
-Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Kevin Connolly has used an unusual physical circumstance to create a gripping work of art. This deeply affecting memoir will place him in the company of Jeanette Walls and Augusten Burroughs.”
-Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants
“Touching and comedic, inspiring and telling...[Double Take] is a remarkable portrait of the human spirit.”
-The Free Lance-Star Publishing Co
“[A] charming memoir… Connolly recounts growing up a scrappy Montana kid—one who happened to be born without legs...[Double Take] makes for an empowering read.”
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org