Red Shoes for Nancy

41xcT-sBylL._SY368_BO1,204,203,200_I never thought I could pick one of the books I’ve read over my lifetime that has changed my life. Some are like electricity when I read them; some just make me comforted. Some challenge me. It’s like picking one of my children. I thought at first there would be no way I could do it.

The book that changed my life was called Red Shoes for Nancy (Lippencott, 1955) by Marguerite Hamilton. It was about a young girl called Nancy who had lymphohemangioma, an extremely rare and crippling disease affecting the lymph nodes and blood vessels. I’m sure disability activists would find something to be offended at in this story, but I was so relieved that there was a story about someone older than I was who was living with a disability, even though our conditions weren’t the same.

It’s been out of print a long time, so if you find a copy, it usually costs two or three hundred dollars.

I read it over and over for years, and I’d love to get my hands on a copy one day. The story gave me hope for having some kind of life, even though Nancy did pass away at a young age.

– Lana Phillips

© 2016, words, Lana Phillips, All right reserved; book cover under fair use


Jamie Dedes is a Lebanese-American poet and free-lance writer. She is the founder and curator of The Poet by Day, info hub for poets and writers, and the founder of The Bardo Group, publishers of The BeZine, of which she was the founding editor and currently a co-manager editor with Michael Dickel. Ms. Dedes is the Poet Laureate of Womawords Press 2020 and U.S associate to that press as well. Her debut collection, "The Damask Garden," is due out fall 2020 from Blue Dolphin Press.

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