Wheeling in Berlin
Anne Finger is an educator, writer of creative nonfiction and fiction, and an activist for the disabled community.Artist Bio
Inspired by Franz Hessel’s similarly titled book that pioneered the concept of the flâneur, the meandering dandy, in Weimar Berlin, Anne Finger writes about her travels as a wheelchair–user. Wheeling in Berlin is a book of personal essays mapping disability upon the geography of the city. Some of the essays concern historical figures, while others engage with representations of disability in art and literature. By contesting what is too often assumed to be the central truth of disability—that it is a black hole of suffering—the essays evoke joy, sensuality, and meandering idleness.
Anne Finger is an educator, writer of creative nonfiction and fiction, and an activist for the disabled community. Her novels include A Woman, in Bed published by Cinco Puntos; and Call Me Ahab, published by Bison Books and winner of the Prairie Schooner Award, which takes iconic disability stories and rewrites them from a disabled perspective. Two memoirs, Elegy for a Disease: A Personal and Cultural History of Polio published by St. Martin’s Press, and Past Due: A Story of Disability, Pregnancy and Birth published in America by Seal Press, consider Finger’s personal experience of disability, and look at how narratives of disease are formed and at the tensions and confluences between feminism and disability rights. Finger has taught both creative writing and disability studies, most recently as the Kate Welling Distinguished Scholar in Disability Studies at Miami University. She is the recipient of the Berlin Prize, and has held residencies at MacDowell, Djerassi, Yaddo, Centrum, and Hedgebrook.
Photo: Shoey Sindel