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A hilarious and poignant memoir grappling with family, disability, and coming of age in two closets—as a gay man and as a man living with cerebral palsy
Greg Marshall’s early years were pretty bizarre. Rewind the VHS tapes (this is the nineties) and you’ll see a lopsided teenager limping across a high school stage, or in a wheelchair after leg surgeries, pondering why he’s crushing on half of the Utah Jazz. Add to this home video footage a mom clacking away at her newspaper column between chemos, a dad with ALS, and a cast of foulmouthed siblings. Fast forward the tape and you’ll find Marshall happily settled into his life as a gay man only to discover he’s been living in another closet his whole life: He has cerebral palsy, a diagnosis that has been kept from him since birth. (His parents always told him he just had "tight tendons" and left it at that.) Here, in the hot mess of it all, lies Greg Marshall’s wellspring of wit and wisdom.
Leg is an extraordinarily funny and insightful memoir from a daring new voice. Packed with outrageous stories of a singular childhood, it is also a unique examination of what it means to transform when there are parts of yourself you can’t change, a moving portrait of a family in crisis, and a tale of resilience of spirit. In Marshall’s deft hands, we see a story both personal and universal—of being young and wanting the world, even when the world doesn’t feel like yours to want.
Author Greg Marshall was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. A National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Prose, Marshall is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers. His work has appeared in The Best American Essays and has been supported by MacDowell and the Corporation of Yaddo. Leg is his first book.
Moderator Lucas Schaefer's writing has appeared in One Story, The Baffler, Slate and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Slip, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster.