Honest. Poignant. Funny. Challenged. Victorious. Inspirational.
Those are just a few words to help describe I'M WALKING AS STRAIGHT AS I CAN: TRANSCENDING DISABILITY IN HOLLYWOOD AND BEYOND by Geri Jewell.
The iconic actress and comedian is best known for her ground-breaking role as Geri Warner on the classic TV series, The Facts of Life, which originally aired on NBC from 1979 to 1988.
I'M WALKING AS STRAIGHT AS I CAN is the astounding account of her life and career before, during and after her monumental performance on Facts which, because of Jewell, became the first weekly series to feature a character with visible disability that was actually played by an actor with a visible disability.
Jewell was born with Cerebral Palsy, but her physical struggles have ever since been outnumbered by her triumphs and relentless uplifting spirit and personality, combined with an unstoppable creative mind, wit and intelligence.
Jewell's optimum writing style, coupled with her keen sense of observation and humor, allows the reader to become so movingly involved with her personal and professional best (and worst!) in the most captivating of ways. She pulls no punches in revealing the challenges she's faced, off screen and on, but after reading her story, one is left with meeting, understanding, attaining, and knowing a new best friend - and a lot more insight into how to live fully, minus any inordinate amount of self-pity or jubilation.
Instead, Jewell delivers with distinction and resolve the perfect balance of how to function, in life life, and in business.
Despite the physical challenges...the emotional and psychological abuse...the insurmountable losses, and the nightmares of every fold, Jewell instead mustered the courage, at times by way of sheer will, to focus instead on the replenished gains and her dreams, even and particularly on the days after her worst nightmares.
In short, I'M WALKING AS STRAIGHT AS I CAN is just about as good as it gets in any literate category. A Five-Star rating for a truly super star's way of living.
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