Writer and activist Keah Brown wants you to know there’s more to her than her disability. “When I first began [writing] I was caught up with trying to make it the best narrative of disability and cerebral palsy there ever was,” Brown tells BAZAAR.com. “However, since my disability is the lens through which I see the world and not the only subject of the book, I realized that all I needed to do was write the book I wanted to read and be proud of. It was important to write about popular culture, love, and music because I’m a human being who cares about more than just her disability.”
Brown is the creator of the viral hashtag #DisabledAndCute and a contributor for outlets including BAZAAR and Teen Vogue. She’s set to release her debut collection of essays, The Pretty One, on August 6, and today, she’s revealing her book cover exclusively on BAZAAR.com. “I cried the first time I saw it. It’s beautiful because almost all of me is there,” Brown says. “The cover is my joy in motion and my right hand is in full view. Before I found my joy and self-love, I would have begged for it to be cropped out—I would’ve wanted to hide it away in shame. Now, it shines on the front of a book cover and I smile every time I see it.”
Brown promises to bring “laughter, a little secondhand embarrassment, hope, eagerness, some loss, and more joy” to her book, which The Incendiaries author R.O. Kwon highlighted as one of the most anticipated books of 2018 at Electric Literature.
“I’m excited for readers to see a different side of disability and to question their beliefs about what it means to be disabled and who is disabled. I hope this collection will not only shift the cultural narrative of disability but also give people joy, a place to see themselves, or an experience outside of their own—all while making the world fall in love with me, of course!”