K. Srilata

This Kind of Child: The Disability Story

About the Book

‘I am the mother of a child who did not fit the school system, a child who was disabled by it. She was a child who made “errors”, “mistakes” that the school system was unforgiving of. We were told by the principal of an alternative school that they could not possibly admit “this kind of child”. My daughter went from being a child to “this kind of child” in that one moment.’
When she started working on the book, it was Srilata’s daughter who was its protagonist. But soon, she realised that there was no way she could stop with her daughter’s story. With each step ahead (or back), she became acutely aware of the larger story of the things we frame as ‘disability’.
‘I have learnt that disability is profoundly political, that it is heartbreakingly social.’
In This Kind of Child Srilata brings together first-person accounts, interviews and short fiction which open up for us the experiential worlds of persons with disabilities and those who love them. The book offers a multi-perspectival understanding of the disability experience its emotional as well as imagined truth, both to the disabled themselves as well as to those closely associated with them.
'1 have learnt that stories are always bigger than they seem at first—bigger, wider and deeper.'
At the heart of this book is inter-being and the question: What does it mean to love and accept yourself or someone else fully?

About the Author

K. Srilata is a poet, fiction writer, translator and academic. She was a writer in residence at Sangam House, India, Yeonhui Art Space, Seoul and the University of Stirling, Scotland.
Srilata's novel Table for Four,(Penguin, India) was longlisted in 2009 for the Man Asian Literary Prize. Her books include five collections of poetry, the latest of which The Unmistakable Presence of Absent Humans was published by Poetrywala, Mumbai. Srilata has also edited the anthologies The Rapids of a Great River: The Penguin Book of Tamil Poetry, Short Fiction from South India (OUP), All the Worlds Between: All the Worlds Between: A Collaborative Poetry Project Between India and Ireland (Yoda) and Lifescapes: Interviews with Contemporary Women Writers from Tamilnadu (Women Unlimited).
Formerly a professor of literature at 11T Madras, Srilata is now Director of the Centre for Creative Writing and Translation at Sai University, Chennai. Srilata was recently awarded an IFA Arts Practice grant to work on a manuscript of poems based on the Mahabharata canon.
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