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WRITING WITH SCOLIOSIS

by Aurelie Sheehan

This year I published my second novel, a story about a girl with scoliosis. History Lesson for Girls is not an autobiography, but the scoliosis aspect of the story is inspired by my own experience. I was diagnosed with a curvature of the spine when I was eleven, and wore the Milwaukee brace from then until I was thirteen.
     Do people need to suffer to create? Of course not, and yet discovering I had scoliosis and wearing a brace most definitely had something to do with my becoming a writer. The day my parents and I came home from my first appointment with the orthopedic surgeon –the day I got an X-ray and saw my spine’s eerie tumble into an S-curve for the first time, and the doctor sent us marching off to the brace-maker’s to be fitted for a Milwaukee brace– was also the day I wrote my first poem.
     It’s not that I hadn’t penned a few rhymes before. We’d learned about poetry in school, and both my
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