Book reviews, interviews, & news

from Midwest Book Review

“A candidly written, thoughtful and thought-provoking memoir, A Life Beyond Reason is an extraordinary personal story with universal implications. An inherently interesting read from first page to last, A Life Beyond Reason is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections.”

For full review, CLICK HERE and scroll to “The Biography Shelf.”

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from The Lancet

Review in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, vol.3, by Robert Stirrups

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from Eighteenth-Century Studies

Review in Eighteenth-Century Studies, vol. 53, no. 2, by Chris Foss.

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from Kirkus Reviews

“A professor steeped in the literature of the Enlightenment has his core beliefs about science, reason, and progress altered when he faces the reality of raising a son with severe brain damage. In his debut memoir, Gabbard (English/Univ. of North Florida), who serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, chronicles the challenges and joys of raising his son, August, who was born with profound impairments, both cognitive and physical: a spastic quadriplegic, legally blind, incontinent, unable to speak, and unable to feed himself. The author describes his son’s birth and the questions about decisions made in the delivery room. Gabbard is highly detailed in his discussions of his routine as daily caretaker and the ups and downs of August’s life, which included many surgeries and long hospitalizations.

“While making clear the enormous demands in both time and money, he is also transparent in his rendering of his deep, abiding love for his son. Once a devotee of the concept that our intelligence is what makes us human and that the unexamined life is not worth living, the author embraced the belief that love is what makes life worth living. To curious strangers, some of whom viewed August with wariness, Gabbard’s frequent reply—”This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased”—speaks volumes. The scenes with various doctors involved in August’s care reveal some of the limitations of the medical profession when faced with such physical and mental impairments, but Gabbard is not writing an exposé. This is both a memoir of a child’s short life and a father’s journey from an academic who thought that love was a weakness to a thoughtful, questioning adult who values the capacity to give and receive love. Parents and caregivers will find plenty of inspiration in these moving, empathetic pages.”

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STARS Best Book Award, April 13, 2020

A Life Beyond Reason has been selected for the 2020 STARS Best Book Award at the University of North Florida. (STARS: Scholars Transforming Academic Research Symposium)

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Guest column, Florida Times Union, February 2, 2020

Florida Times Union guest column by Chris Gabbard, “Don’t Break Promises to Parents of Disabled Kids.” CLICK HERE

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Guest column, Orlando Sentinel, January 30, 2020

Orlando Sentinel guest column by Chris Gabbard, “Disabled Kids Hurt By Bill to Privatize Services.” CLICK HERE

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Interview: Who Lives Like This?! December 3, 2019

Interview with Ilene Chazan, mother of August, the subject of A Life Beyond Reason, conducted by Jason Lehmbeck and Elizabeth Aquino of Who Lives Like This?! a podcast for parent caregivers and siblings. CLICK HERE

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Interview: “First Coast Connect,” September 25, 2019

Melissa Ross of WJCT-FM’s “First Coast Connect” interviewed Chris Gabbard, Debbie Heaton, and Dr. Elizabeth Perkins of the University of South Florida concerning the ten-year-long wait list in Florida for disabled children to receive the Medicaid waiver.

Scroll past the top story about Donald Trump and go to “Medicaid Waivers. Florida is looking to cut its budget for a Medicaid program….” Segment spans minutes 13:00-30:00. CLICK HERE

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Review: Wordgathering, September, 2019

Review in Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature volume 13, issue 3, September 2019, by Ann Kaier, CLICK HERE

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Interview: Completely Booked, August 27, 2019

Gabrielle and Amanda of the Jacksonville Library’s podcast Completely Booked interview Chris Gabbard. CLICK HERE

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Interview: Who Lives Like This?! August 6, 2019

Interview with Clio Chazan-Gabbard (the author’s daughter) conducted by Jason Lehmbeck and Elizabeth Aquino of Who Lives Like This?! a podcast for parent caregivers and siblings. CLICK HERE

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TV interview: First Coast Living (ABC 12), July 10, 2019

Interview with Curtis Dvorak of First Coast Living, an 11 a.m. program weekdays on First Coast News 12 (ABC). CLICK HERE

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Interview: Who Lives Like This?! July 7, 2019

Interview with Jason Lehmbeck and Elizabeth Aquino of Who Lives Like This?! a podcast for parent caregivers and siblings. CLICK HERE

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Interview: The Resident, July 5, 2019

Interview with Marcia Hodgson of The Resident (neighborhood newspaper in Jacksonville FL) CLICK HERE

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Review: Frau Doktor Doctor, July 6, 2019

Review by Kristen Ann Ehrenberger, MD/PhD. CLICK HERE

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Guest op-ed, Orlando Sentinel, July 2, 2019

“Families with special-needs children left to fend for themselves | Commentary.” CLICK HERE

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Interview: On The Blink, June 30, 2019

“Chris Gabbard discusses his new memoir, A Life Beyond Reason, with Emily Michael. CLICK HERE

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Review: Midwest Book Review, June 19, 2019

June, 2019: “A candidly written, thoughtful and thought-provoking memoir, A Life Beyond Reason is an extraordinary personal story with universal implications. An inherently interesting read from first page to last, A Life Beyond Reason is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections.”

For full review, CLICK HERE and scroll to “The Biography Shelf.”

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Music list: Largehearted Boy, June 17, 2019

Largehearted Boy published a playlist of songs associated with A Life Beyond Reason along with commentary. CLICK HERE

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Excerpt: Salon, June 17, 2019

Salon.com reprinted a section from chapter four of A Life Beyond Reason for Father’s Day. CLICK HERE

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Interview: “First Coast Connect,” June 12, 2019

Melissa Ross of WJCT-FM’s “First Coast Connect” interviewed Chris Gabbard. Start listening at minute 32:28. CLICK HERE

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Review: Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews reviewed A Life Beyond Reason in its online edition March 15, 2019. CLICK HERE

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News report: Florida Times Union, March 13, 2019

Read Matt Soergel’s story “UNF prof tells story of son’s short life” (photo: Will Dickey). CLICK HERE

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Reprint in the Chronicle of Higher Education, November 7, 2010

“Odd Quirks” (below) reprinted as “A Life Beyond Reason.” CLICK HERE

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Origin: Papa, PhD: Essays on Fatherhood by Men in the Academy, Rutgers Univ. Press, November 3, 2010

The original article “Odds Quirks.” CLICK HERE

 

 

Available in audiobook, hardback, softcover, Kindle, and Nook

 

Order through:

Beacon Press

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

University of North Florida English professor Chris Gabbard with his son August at their home in Jacksonville, FL, in 2010 (Photo by Matt Stroshane)

 

 

 

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