Good Kings, Bad Kings

Listen 59 min

Susan Nussbaum

Susan Nussbaum

In this hour-long fund drive special, we talk to celebrated playwright and disability rights activist, Susan Nussbaum about her prize-winning disability novel, Good Kings, Bad Kings.


The novel tells the story of a group of disabled kids in a bleak nursing home, and some of the adults who ally with them. It’s filled with crip humor (“If this is what it means to be award of the state, you can have your award.” p 31), and the characters are full of life, the kind of people you want to know.

This unique book pulls no punches, not just about the grim reality of low income nursing homes, but about the political realities that surround it. 

Photo from PEN America

Photo from PEN America


 We meet the career builders, the corporate manager, the kick-back taking doctor, the petty and over-worked workers.  We learn about the system that traps these children in a boring, limited building where they can be bossed around and preyed upon by predators.


Wheelchair in tree, Photo from PEN-America

Photo from PEN America






This novel won the inaugural PEN/Bellweather prize.*

Hosted by Shelley Berman, Adrienne Lauby & Sheela Gunn-Cushman.

*The PEN/Bellwether Prize, which was established in 2000 by Barbara Kingsolver and is funded entirely by her, was created to promote fiction that addresses issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships. 

Original Air Date: 2-7-14
This entry was posted in Activism, Adrienne Lauby, Bullying, Poetry & Prose, relationships, Sheela Gunn Cushman, Shelley Berman, Story Telling - Disability, Teens and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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