3 out of 4 stars
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It’s Easier to Dance: Living Beyond Boundaries is the memoir of Annie L. Harris, an African American woman born with cerebral palsy. In the book, Harris’ story parallels the development of social consciousness through her childhood, in the 1940s, and into adulthood. At first, it is her mother’s resilience and strength that help Harris overcome social stigma due to her disability. Later, she has to learn to defy the odds herself and believe that she can do it but with great effort.
Still, Annie L. Harris learns that being a woman and a minority also pose unique challenges over and above those that come with her disability. Her remarkable positive attitude and refusal to fail becomes an incredible asset. Even so, she appears to bear no bitterness, only dancing to the tune of life as it presents itself. Annie L. Harris does not view herself as a victim but as a person who has a lot to offer the world and all those around her. Even though she is physically limited, she points out other ways that a person with a disability can offer support to friends, family and the world.
There are a number of features in the book that I loved. The structure of It’s Easier to Dance: Living Beyond Boundaries was a great bonus. I liked that the author did not merge all the aspects of her life together into one mixed up story but divided the plot into smaller chunks. Every chapter showcases a particular viewpoint of Anne. L. Harris. For instance, chapter 6 tackles her thoughts on femininity and chapter 10; the impact loss has had on her life. That way, each chapter stands out from the rest and also gives the reader a different view of the author’s life, independent of other parts of the book.
The voice that Anne L. Harris uses in It’s Easier to Dance is calm and warm. She does not feel like the world owes her. It is obvious that her disability has not held her back. Her adventurous and vivacious nature is reflected throughout the book.
Her subtle yet impactful approach to social issues influenced me and my viewpoint of these matters. I was also inspired by the author’s approach to life in general. Despite the challenges she faced, she grew up to be an indispensable part of her society.
I would have wanted to rate the book a full 4 stars. Still, I couldn’t. It definitely requires further editing. I noticed a number of grammatical errors.
Putting all these into account, I rate It’s Easier to Dance 3 out of 4 stars.
It's Easier to Dance
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