Tell Me The Number Before Infinity

Listen (59 min)
Becky and Dena Taylor’s book tells the story of a girl with a quirky mind, an eccentric family, and oh yes, a disability.

Born premature, Becky was given the usual prognosis “probably going to be blind, deaf and retarded.” Yet, at age four she was doing calculus in her head. One day her dad sought to stump his daughter-the-math-whiz by asking, “Is infinity an odd or an even number?” She thought about it for a bit, smiled, then replied, “Tell me the number before infinity.

We talk to Becky and Dena Taylor about growing up with cerebral palsy and their book, Tell me the Number Before Infinity from Many Names Press. Alternating voices, this mother and daughter team explore the obstacles and harassment Becky faces as a person with a visible disability — the bullying, the teachers with inflexible rules and the lack of support even from some Disability Center staff. These are stories of a mainstreamed education told with humor, intimacy and frankness.

We also feature, Every Crumb, Every Minute, Every Day by John McCutcheon, a song he wrote after reading Becky and Dena Taylor’s book.

This fund drive special is hosted by Shelley Berman, Josh Elwood, Sheela Gunn-Cushman and Adrienne Lauby. Throughout the hour, we’ll ask people to become members of KPFA and offer this singular book as a thank you gift. The number to call is (510) 848-5732, or toll free at (800) 439-5732.

“This book should be required reading for teachers and everyone in equity and critical disability studies.” –Gloria Filax, Professor of Disability Studies, Athabasca University

Becky Taylor lives in Santa Cruz where she vice-chairs the Commission on Disabilities, and is involved with other civic organizations. She is a UC Santa Cruz Computer Science graduate. Her mother, Dena Taylor, MSW, is retired from a career in social work and education. She is the author, editor, and co-editor of six books on women’s issues.

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