The Four Walls of My Freedom

The Four Walls of My Freedom

Book - 2014
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Perseus Publishing
A riveting and redemptive family memoir, The Four Walls of My Freedom is Donna Thomson’s account of raising a son with cerebral palsy and her passionate appeal to change the way we think about "the good life." Donna Thomson’s life was forever changed by her son Nicholas. A former actor, director, and teacher, Donna became his primary caregiver and embarked on a second career as a disability activist, author, and consultant. Here, she vividly describes her experience in treading delicately through daily care, emergencies, and medical bureaucracy as Donna and her family cope with her son’s condition while maintaining value and dignity. She brilliantly demonstrates the vital contribution that people with disabilities make to our society and addresses the ethics and economics of giving and receiving care. Featuring a new introduction by John Ralston Saul, and two new chapters, The Four Walls of My Freedom is an ardent argument for changing to the way we think about the ?good life” that touches anyone who has ever cared for the life of another.


Publisher: Toronto : Anansi, 2014, c2010
ISBN: 9781770894792
Branch Call Number: 649.151 THO
Characteristics: 285 p., [8] p. of plates :,col. ill., col. ports. ;,1 cm.

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BPLNextBestAdults Jun 02, 2011

Three months after Donna Thomson delivered her son Nicholas, life as she knew it changed forever. After months of wondering why Nicholas was not developing like typical babies, doctors informed her that he had cerebral palsy and would “never be normal”. The Four Walls of My Freedom is a memoir about her experience parenting a child with severe physical needs—from trying to find an appropriate school to dealing with Nicholas’s extreme pain and seizures. Her descriptions paint a clear image of how debilitating it can be for a family who has to navigate this world with such challenges.
Thomson is the wife of former Canadian High Commissioner to the UK James Wright, so she brings to the book experience from both Canada and abroad. Her years with Nicholas have transformed her into a disability activist and with The Four Walls of My Freedom, she examines theories of quality of life and how they can be applied to create the best possible life for all citizens, regardless of ability. It is an excellent work for those who are interested in the politics and social issues involving individuals with disabilities. It’s not an easy read, but rather an academic discussion of how society could work with families to create happy lives for all individuals. Canadians with an interest in the rights of the disabled would be particularly interested in this work.

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