Shane Burcaw

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Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse

book | Non-Fiction | Apr 2019
World → Roaring Brook Press (Ed. Claire Dorsett)

Shane Burcaw is a blogger, an entrepreneur, and an award-winner writer known for his wiseass humor and enthusiasm for life. All this and he’s just twenty-six years old. Oh, and you should also know that he also has spinal muscular atrophy, a degenerative disease that has slowly deteriorated his muscles.

But Shane’s life is anything but tragic. In Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse, his second book of essays, Shane offers his own hilarious and unique perspective on living a full and happy life. It just so happens that he lives his life in a body that many people perceive as a tragedy. From anecdotes about first introductions where people patted him on the head instead of shaking his hand to stories of passersby mistaking his able-bodied girlfriend for his nurse, Shane tackles awkward situations and assumptions with humor and grace.

You would not be wrong in assuming that these essays are about day-to-day life as a wheelchair user with a degenerative disease, but once you read them you’ll find that they are also about family, falling in love, and becoming an adult.


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Roxane Edouard manages the translation rights for Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse

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The audio rights are handled by Tina Dubois.


With the same frankness and gallows humor that marked his Laughing at My Nightmare (2014), Burcaw's accounts of madcap road trips, love amid explosive diarrhea, and more demystify and normalize "the nastier side of being human" while critiquing—sometimes poignantly—society's widespread patronization of disabled people. . . An accessible, smart-assed, and unexpectedly tender exploration of life, love, and disability. 

Kirkus Reviews
Full Review

Written in his frank, often earthy, style, this will hold readers mesmerized.

Full Review

In his second memoir, a collection of 23 essays, Burcaw candidly shares hilarious, cringe-worthy, and poignant stories about his life and living with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).... Above all, Burcaw succeeds in illustrating that “disability does not equal sadness.”

Publishers Weekly
Full Review

People with disabilities still don’t get the kind of #ownvoices space they merit, and Burcaw’s voice makes him just plain good literary company in this approachable, enjoyable, and often edifying title.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Full Review

Equal parts humorous, tender, and points, the book is laugh-out-loud funny, making a sometimes difficult subject matter approachable and engaging, and each essay is concise and highly readable.

School Library Journal

Tina Dubois
+1 212 556 5600
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Translation Rights
Roxane Edouard
+44 (0)20 7393 4491
Email Roxane Edouard