Carolyn Walker, Every Least Sparrow
Carolyn Walker, Every Least Sparrow
Carolyn Walker, a former journalist and columnist, now publishes as a memoirist, essayist, and poet. She is also a longtime creative writing instructor for Writers Digest University online, as well as other schools.
She began writing as a young child, and after working twenty-five years as a reporter, publishing in a variety of Michigan newspapers and magazines, she ventured off to graduate school and earned her MFA in Writing degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2004. She specializes in Creative Nonfiction.
Her award-winning writing has appeared in The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, Hunger Mountain, The Writer’s Chronicle, Gravity Pulls You In: Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum, HOUR Detroit, The Detroit News, and many other publications. Her essay “Christian Become a Blur” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and reprinted in the 50th anniversary edition of Crazyhorse. In 2013, she was made a Kresge Fellow in the Literary Arts by the Kresge Foundation.
She is currently working on two new books: Questions Counted Like Stars, a memoir about the challenging childhood of her gay, mildly autistic son; and You Live by Luck, the story of growing up with her zany mother and steadfast father, a World War II veteran.
A lifelong Michigan resident and the married mother of three grown children, she is a gay rights and disability advocate. Visit the Every Least Sparrow Book Hub.
About the Book Every Least Sparrow
A child can simultaneously break your heart and set it free. Such is the case with Jennifer Walker, born with the rare Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, which severely challenges her mental and physical capabilities, even as it piques her mother’s dread of the unknown. Jennifer’s is a disorder that most doctors have never encountered, one that informs the story of Every Least Sparrow.
On the night of her birth, the Walkers’ pediatrician lays out a new reality that will upend their household. He speaks of deformities that make no sense: spatula thumbs, cathedral palate, webbed neck, beak nose, a bird face. Confused and frightened, baby in hand, determined to find healing and understanding, Jennifer’s mother, a journalist writing about life in their small midwestern town, embarks on a quest that takes them from doctor to doctor, hospital to hospital, and state to state.
It’s a quest filled with surgeries, therapies, and educational interventions, mitigated by Jennifer’s love of music and her fun, curious obsession with the Titanic – one that forces her mother to examine her own prejudices. Her combined private and professional lives impact Jennifer’s mother in a profound way, creating for her a new understanding of what it means to be wife, mother, and human being.
Filled with natural self-esteem, Jennifer never realizes she is different from others. Instead, she becomes their teacher, proving that disability is but a notion. Spirited and impish, brave and loving, she takes her obstacles in stride, and throws herself into the excitement of life – friendships, romance, employment.
Those who know her eventually come to think of Jennifer, in her lack of prejudice and guile, as someone to be envied. Jennifer proves to all in the most affecting way that it’s possible to surmount seemingly impossible hurdles, live fully, and love unconditionally. Endorsements and Reviews
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Biographies / Special Needs / Special Needs Parenting / Motherhood
6 x 9 inches | 226 pages
$17.95 Paperback | $27.95 Hardcover | $9.99 eBook
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound (local bookstores) | Books-A-Million | Indigo Books
“Every Least Sparrow is one of those rare books that combines honesty, depth, tears and laughter. Carolyn Walker unflinchingly tackles the subject of raising a challenged child. There are intimate scenes of every aspect of family life centering on the raising of Jennifer, who brings her own bright spirit into all that she touches. It’s such lyrical writing about such a difficult subject, that I couldn’t put it down.” – Amazon
“Every Least Sparrow has, among moments of trepidation and sorrow, incredible moments of joy and brilliance. It’s an account of love and amazement. It reminds me that, as parents, we wish the best for the children, and hope that they will grow to be wise, but their existence and purpose in life is their own, and the way they view the world is independent from us. The best we can do is nurture and love them and then let them fly.” – Amazon
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