Random House: Bringing You the Best in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children's Books
Newletters and Alerts

Buy now from Random House

  • Life As We Know It
  • Written by Michael Berube
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780679758662
  • Our Price: $16.95
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - Life As We Know It

Life As We Know It

A Father, a Family, and an Exceptional Child

Written by Michael BerubeAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Michael Berube

Life As We Know It Cover

Share & Shelve:

  • Add This - Life As We Know It
  • Email this page - Life As We Know It
  • Print this page - Life As We Know It


When Jamie Bérubé was born with Down syndrome in 1991, he was immediately subject to the
medical procedures, insurance guidelines, policies, and representations that surround every child our society
designates as disabled.  In this wrenching yet ultimately inspiring book, Jamie's father, literary scholar Michael
Bérubé, describes not only the challenges of raising his son but the challenge of seeing him as a person
rather than as a medical, genetic, or social problem.


We Americans argue about representation all the time: the representation of poor people in Congress, the representation of African-Americans in the wake of the O.J. trial, the representation of African-Americans who aren't represented by the best lawyers money can buy.

Representations matter. Our world, as William Wordsworth once put it, is that which our eyes and ears half create and half perceive; and it is because Wordsworth is right that we need to deliberate the question of how we will reprsent the range of human variation to ourselves. How we understand people with Down syndrome will become part of what it means to have Down syndrome.

In these pages I have tried to represent my son James to the best of my ability. Nothing I write will redraw a political district; nothing I write will change the chemical composition of Jamie's cells.

My job, for now, is to represent my son, to set his place at our collective table. But I know I am merely trying my best to prepare for the day he sets his own place. For I have no sweeter dream than to imagine that Jamie will someday be his own advocate, his own author, his own best representative.

From the Hardcover edition.
Michael Berube

About Michael Berube

Michael Berube - Life As We Know It
Michael Berube is a professor of English at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and in 1994 was named University Scholar. He is the author of three other books, and has written for many academic journals a Village Voice.

Your E-Mail Address
send me a copy

Recipient's E-Mail Address
(multiple addresses may be separated by commas)

A personal message: