• Nothing Special

  • The Mostly True, Sometimes Funny Tales of Two Sisters
  • By: Dianne Bilyak
  • Narrated by: Dianne Bilyak
  • Length: 5 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

A late bloomer’s coming-of-age memoir asks how does one accept and free themselves from visible and invisible disabilities and still retain their sense of connection and humor? Nothing Special is a disarmingly candid tale of two sisters growing up in the 1970s in rural Connecticut. Older sister Chris, who has Down syndrome, is an extrovert, while the author, her younger, typically developing sister, shoulders the burdens and grief of her parents. In Nothing Special, Bilyak offers vignettes that range from heartrending to laugh-out-loud funny as well as a real-world picture of fighting for her own life, finding a place in her family, and strengthening the relationship with her sister. 

©2021 Wesleyan University Press (P)2022 Wesleyan University Press

Critic Reviews

"Bilyak's Nothing Special is, despite its witty title, something special. [S]he takes us on a wild ride with her charismatic sister, the unflappable, self-avowed and completely uncowed Dr. Irma King, who just happens to have Down syndrome." —Dorion Sagan

"With charming specificity and hilarity, Bilyak writes frankly about her own identity, and that of her sister's. Through honest self-reflection and observation, Bilyak hits home something that we so badly need to hear right now: that people with disabilities are not a monolith, and that there is no perfect way to love or be loved by them." ―Bekah Brunstetter

"Dianne Bilyak's Nothing Special is wonderfully fulfilling and accessible―you feel like you're reading this incredibly honest diary about the complexities of family that's so relatable!" ―Brian Donovan

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