Dr. Kopits takes me into an examining room and leans against the stainless steel bench and asks me what I'm writing about this time. When I tell him what I saw in Australia, he immediately starts to nod. "This is a great subject," he says. Then he stops, as if caught by the subject himself.
After a moment, he continues. "What you are looking into is the abyss. This takes you to the very heart of a human being, to the deepest aspect of the soul.
He gives me one of his solemn looks. "Because the thing is, you have to confront yourself."
(from In the Little World)
In 1997, almost by accident, John H. Richardson found himself sharing a hotel with more than a thousand dwarfs. Over the course of a single week, he witnessed love and anger, fear and bravery, arrogance and humility, even a bizarre romantic deception -- the entire spectrum of human emotion in one concentrated dose. But at the end of the week, he discovered that leaving the "Little World" wasn't as simple as checking out of a hotel. In fact, his journey would last a full two years.
At a time when bigger often seems synonymous with better, and physical beauty serves as currency, the world of dwarfs usually passes beneath our notice. Now, in this groundbreaking work, awardwinning author John H. Richardson brings the Little World into focus.
He introduces us to characters like a saintly but obsessed doctor and a mother who sacrifices her family to save her dwarf daughter. He follows two dwarf lovers from first meeting through the struggle to overcome their fear and shame and find the confidence to love each other. He becomes personally involved in a tangled and often confrontational friendship with a female dwarf. Through these stories and musings ranging from classic theories of beauty to the history of the disability movement to postmodern theories of difference, Richardson presents a world that is a skewed reflection of our own -- and offers us a glimpse into the essential human condition.
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John H. Richardson is a writer-at-large for Esquire and the author of In the Little World and The Viper's Club. His fiction has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly and the O. Henry Prize Stories collection. He lives in Katonah, New York.From Booklist:
Richardson's introduction to the Little World begins at the Little People of America convention in Atlanta. On assignment to write a story of the convention for Esquire magazine, Richardson conducts interviews with several dwarfs. He meets Michael, looking for love and hoping to hit it off with Meredith. He also meets Jocelyn and her mother, Evelyn, who have come all the way from Australia to consult with Dr. Kopits, a doctor famous for his dedication to treating dwarfs. And then there is Andrea--defensive and easily enraged, she seems to be as fascinated with Richardson as he is with her. Even after the convention is long over, Richardson keeps in touch with the dwarfs he became closest to, following Michael and Meredith's romance, Jocelyn's multiple surgeries and their effect on her family, and Andrea's grappling with her father's illness. Richardson's writing has both immediacy and candor, but perhaps what is most special about the book is how closely he is involved in the lives of the people whose stories he is relating here. Richardson struggles with his own perceptions of beauty and physicality, challenged by Andrea's confrontational nature and Jocelyn's stoic bravery. Richardson's introspection might cause him to lose his impersonal distance, but it is only to his, and the book's, benefit. Because of its naked honesty, In the Little World is both phenomenal and unique. Kristine Huntley
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Book Description Harpercollins, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: Collectible; Like New. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. First printing. Secure binding with no text markings. Faint shelf wear to jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 091475
Book Description Harper 2001-12-18, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st. 0060193166 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0060193166
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2001. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition (stated). FIRST PRINTING of the First Edition (stated). An investigation into the world of dwarfs, their lives, loves, passions, and sufferings, much of this account drawn from the author's accidental sharing of a hotel with a thousand drawfs in 1987. Hardcover with dust jacket, illustrations, 257pp. A very nice copy, the jacket neatly encased in an acid-free archival plastic protector. Rare. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 00013427
Book Description Harper, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0060193166
Book Description Harper, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110060193166
Book Description Harper. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060193166 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0947661