James M. Odato

This Brain Had a Mouth

“This biography provides valuable insight into the personality behind one of the most influential disability rights publications. A genuine page-turner.” —Fred Pelka, author of What We Have Done
Author, advocacy journalist, disability rights activist, feminist, and founder of Mouth magazine, Lucy Gwin (1943–2014) made her mark by helping those in “handicaptivity” find their voice. Gwin produced over one hundred issues of the magazine—one of the most radical and significant disability rights publications—and masterminded its acerbic, sometimes funny, and often moving articles about people from throughout the disability community.
In this engrossing biography, James M. Odato provides an intimate portrait of Gwin, detailing how she forged her own path into activism. After an automobile accident left her with a brain injury, Gwin became a tireless advocate for the equal rights of people she termed “dislabled.” More than just a publisher, she fought against corruption in the rehabilitation industry, organized for the group Not Dead Yet, and much more. With Gwin’s story at the center, Odato introduces readers to other key disability rights activists and organizations, and supplies context on current contentious topics such as physician-assisted suicide. Gwin’s impact on disability rights was monumental, and it is time her story is widely known.
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