The Future Is Disabled: Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs

Arsenal Pulp. Oct. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9781551528915. pap. $19.95. SOC SCI
The COVID pandemic has taken a toll on the world; more so for queer, trans Black Indigenous People of Color (QTBIPOC) with disabilities. In these thought-provoking essays, Piepzna-Samarasinha (Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice) chronicles how they’ve spent the last few years mourning friends while advocating for disability justice. During the pandemic, two of the author’s closest friends died from complications during surgery; COVID and lack of medical care killed others within the QTBIPOC disabled community over time. Many of the eye-opening essays detail how disability justice advocates can support each other, start a movement or disability-friendly festival, and negotiate speaker engagements. The strongest essays are the ones where Piepzna-Samarasinha wistfully reminisces about their late friends. A sense of melancholy rises from the pages as the discussion moves from each life to each death.
VERDICT This book is not all doom and gloom. There are gleams of joy throughout, plus essays on art and pleasure. Give to anyone with an interest in disability justice, as well as fans of Alice Wong’s Year of the Tiger.
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