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Double Take: A Memoir by Kevin Michael Connolly: Talking Points

The resources in this guide will help you learn about the book and author, find book reviews and interviews with Kevin Michael Connolly.

Reading Questions

1: In Chapter 2 Kevin’s dad fashions a number of different inventions to help him get around. The inventions are based purely on function, which contrasts heavily with the legs Kevin receives in Chapter 3. What do you think is the relationship between aesthetics and function and the importance of each to those with a disability?

2: In Chapter 11 Kevin gets particularly angry when he catches a group of teenagers taking a photograph of him. This comes after experiencing many stares, which by comparison he barely notices. What do you think is the difference between a stare and a photograph? Do you think that Kevin’s decision to “return fire” with his camera is morally or artistically justifiable?

3: In Chapter 1 Kevin states his doubts of being able to raise a legless child. What do you think such an experience would be like? How would you handle raising such a child?

4: On pages 170-171 Kevin tries to create a different definition for the word “disability”. He makes the argument that the concept is much more common and more fluid than most people believe. Do you agree with his statements? If not, why? If so, what is your disability?

5: In Chapter 17 Kevin almost quits working on “The Rolling Exhibition” as a result of the pain that his appearance is bringing out in others walking the streets of Sarajevo. Kevin feels as if he is manipulating people and their pain for his own artistic gain. Do you agree? If so, is it right for him to continue photographing?

6: On page 163 Kevin talks about his skateboard and how it has come to be a part of his self-concept. The skateboard embodies who he is, despite it being less socially acceptable than a wheelchair would be. In your own life, how do you deal with the relationship between being “socially acceptable” and being true to yourself?

7: Discuss the symbolism of Kevin’s skateboard and what it represents. What people, items or events have served as your “skateboard”?

8: How do you think “The Dirtbags” in Chapter 6 helped to shape Kevin’s view of disability?

Questions from Kevin Michael

In the Library

The Library has 2 copies available on Reserve for in-library use only. 1 copy in Circulating Collection.

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