The Author

The Author

Photo of Rebekah Taussig
Courtesy photo

A self-described "writer, teacher, advocate, and human person," Rebekah Taussig grew up in the Midwest as the curious, resilient, imaginative youngest child in a family of eight. Born in Manhattan, Kansas, in the mid-1980s, Taussig was 14 months old when she was diagnosed with a malignant cancer that attacked her spine. After two years of intense treatments, chemotherapy, radiation, and two surgeries to treat the cancer, she was cancer-free, but had begun to lose mobility below the waist. As she details in Sitting Pretty, her parents, though loving and supportive, made no special accommodations for her in their modest home.

Taussig was never connected to the disability community or disability literature as a child. As a result, she went many years without processing the challenges and erasures that had shaped her experiences. She began studying disability as a graduate student at the University of Kansas. Through her work, she wanted to recreate a transformation she had during her studies for other people through her writing.

Taussig hopes one of the main takeaways from her book is "this idea of accessibility as a project for all of us in the way that we’re all attached to bodies," she said on the National Endowment for the Arts' Art Works podcast. It's a project that can be born "of play and imagination and creativity," and "doesn't have to be sterile and medical and dreadful but open and expansive and maybe a little bit enjoyable as well."