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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Dispatches from Disabled Country

A reimagining of what it means to be disabled from Canadian disability rights advocate Catherine Frazee.

“Disability is not our worst-case scenario—our worst-case scenario would be its annihilation.” This is the starting point for this powerful collection of writing by and about Catherine Frazee, disability activist, Officer of the Order of Canada, and poetic scholar of justice. For Frazee, disability is not something to be dreaded or overcome but a force to be reckoned with—a prism of insight and experience that refracts new light upon our fundamental ideals of justice, beauty, and community.

Frazee has been a central figure in the disability rights landscape in Canada for decades. Her reasoned and passionate insights are topical and often ahead of their time. Always bold, always progressive, and frequently provocative, her work presents an unwavering, fierce commitment to engage in public debate from a position that centers the lives of disabled people.

Taken together, these writings chronicle the rising consciousness of a social movement of disabled people staking their claim in public policy and popular culture, a claim that is overdue for honest recognition.


"Frazee’s work makes an important contribution to Canadian public discourse, not only in issues connected to disability, law, and the arts, but to bigger human concerns such as empathy, vulnerability, and connection. It is essential reading for all Canadians." 

Madeline Burghardt, author of Broken: Institutions, Families and the Construction of Intellectual Disability

"Catherine Frazee’s valuable writings are finally available in one place. Dispatches from Disabled Country adds to our knowledge of the intersectional nature of disability. This long-awaited book is highly readable and truly unique."

Michelle Owen, co-editor of Dissonant Disabilities: Women with Chronic Illnesses Explore Their Lives

"Words are Catherine Frazee’s close companions, the beloved tools of her craft, the instrument of her analysis, the energy of her activism in the struggle for disability justice … The power of Dispatches from Disabled Country lies not just in what gets said: the topics selected, the values espoused, the arguments made, and the positions taken. Power lies, as well, in how Catherine says it: the cart and the horse; the unexpected guests; the rattlesnake and the venom; the monsters that matter; the danger and the courage." 

From the foreword by Kathryn Church and Melanie Panitch

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