In a blend of intimate memoir and passionate advocacy, Nancy Mairs takes on the subject woven through all her writing: disability and its effect on life, work, and spirit.
Mairs (Ordinary Time) is a writer of heightened sensibility not entirely attributable to the years she has spent wheelchair-bound because of advancing multiple sclerosis. From her viewpoint, approximately at the level of other people's navels, she constructs here "a Baedeker for a country to which no one travels willingly," the story of a life shaped by severe physical disability. In this collection of ruminative, exploratory essays, there is also earthy humor as Mairs addresses issues that range from physical intimacy and a spouse's health problems to concerns with public facilities and her advocacy achievements. The author, a vibrant, well-traveled poet, teacher and mother, takes readers inside a world that at times seem not to want her. Although Mairs disavows the inspirational thrust of her essays, they are perforce filled with insights that will be helpful to a large population, especially women. Author tour.