Raising Henry

Raising Henry Cover

Raising Henry

A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, & Discovery

By Rachel Adams

Yale University Press, Hardcover, 9780300180008, 258pp.

Publication Date: September 24, 2013

Rachel Adams's life had always gone according to plan. She had an adoring husband, a beautiful two-year-old son, a sunny Manhattan apartment, and a position as a tenured professor at Columbia University. Everything changed with the birth of her second child, Henry. Just minutes after he was born, doctors told her that Henry had Down syndrome, and she knew that her life would never be the same. In this honest, self-critical, and surprisingly funny book, Adams chronicles the first three years of Henry's life and her own transformative experience of unexpectedly becoming the mother of a disabled child. A highly personal story of one family's encounter with disability, "Raising Henry" is also an insightful exploration of today's knotty terrain of social prejudice, disability policy, genetics, prenatal testing, medical training, and inclusive education. Adams untangles the contradictions of living in a society that is more enlightened and supportive of people with disabilities than ever before, yet is racing to perfect prenatal tests to prevent children like Henry from being born. Her book is gripping, beautifully written, and nearly impossible to put down. Once read, her family's story is impossible to forget.

About the Author
Rachel Adams is professor of English and American studies at Columbia University, where she is also director of the Future of Disability Studies Project. She is the author of "Sideshow U.S.A.: Freaks and the American Cultural Imagination." Adamslives with her husband and two sons in New York City."