By Emily Rapp
(Bloomsbury USA, Hardcover, 9781596912564, 240pp.)
Publication Date: December 26, 2006
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Emily Rapp was born with a congenital defect that required, at the age of four, that her left foot be amputated. By the time she was eight she'd had dozens of operations and her entire leg below the knee had been amputated. She had also become the smiling, always perky, indefatigable poster child for the March of Dimes, and spent much of her childhood traveling around the Midwest making appearances and giving pep talks. All the while she was learning to live with what she called "my grievous, irrevocable flaw," and the paradox that being extraordinary was the only way to be ordinary.
"Poster Child "is Rapp's unflinching, brutally honest and often darkly humorous account of wrestling with the tyranny of self-image as a teenager and then ultimately coming to terms with her own body as a young woman. It's about what it's like to live inside a broken body in a society that values beauty above almost everything else.
Emily Rapp was born in Nebraska and grew up in Wyoming and Colorado. She was a Fulbright Scholar and a James A. Michener Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. She has received awards and recognition for her work from The Atlantic Monthly, StoryQuarterly, The Mary Roberts Rinehart foundation, the Jentel Arts Foundation, The Corporation of Yaddo, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She was recently the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University. She is a professor in the MFA Program at Antioch University in Los Angeles.