Author Interview: Rebekah Taussig

author Rebekah Taussig

Sitting Pretty is a memoir-in-essays from disability advocate and creator of the Instagram account @sitting_pretty, Rebekah Taussig. We spoke with author Rebekah Taussig about the inspiration for her memoir, her favorite indie bookstore, and more.

Please tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write this book and how this story took shape for you.

I’ve been disabled since I was three years old, but I didn’t begin to reflect deeply on what my disability meant to me until I was in my late twenties. I was reading Disability Studies scholarship in grad school, and suddenly my whole world flipped. Disability had been something I tried to distance myself from. It was something to ignore and hide—something to overcome. But suddenly, disability was brought close, and I was able to examine the context in which I’d grown to feel so much shame for this body I live in.

In order to process these new, transformative ideas, I began writing about my experiences on Instagram. This practice became a path to understanding and connection—I met other disabled folks, found language for my experiences, and forged a more integrated sense of self. This book is an extension of that space.

In two sentences or less, what’s something that might surprise listeners about your audiobook?

When recording the audiobook, I had the most difficult time reading the phrase “dragon pun meme.” I think I made twenty attempts until I got it right!

Have you listened to your own audiobook? If so, what struck you about the narration?

I haven’t listened to it yet! I wonder if I’ll be able to tolerate the sound of my own recorded voice for that long? Maybe the initial cringe eventually wears off? I don’t know!

Are you an audiobook listener? If so, what are some of your favorite audiobooks?

Yes! I just finished listening to Trevor Noah read his book Born a Crime, and it blew me away. I was also so moved by Kiese Laymon’s Heavy. And two of my all-time favorites have to be Andrew Solomon’s Far From the Tree and Lindy West’s Shrill. These are all audiobooks to listen to again and again.

What have independent bookstores and/or booksellers meant to you personally and professionally?

Wise Blood Booksellers in Kansas City is one of my favorite places around. Besides the fact that I could roam the aisles of books for ages, it feels like a space where words and stories are held sacred. This is where readers gather—where we honor the power that can come from a set of carefully selected and delicately arranged syllables. Wise Blood has also been so supportive of Sitting Pretty. They’re working with me to arrange a set of virtual events to launch the book, and I couldn’t be more pleased or grateful.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

I love what you all are doing! Thank you, thank you! <3

Header photo by Micah Jones

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