‘Ugly’: A Memoir Of Childhood, Deformity And Learning To Love A Distinctive Face

From NPR:

Hoge was born with deformed legs and a giant tumor between his eyes. “The tumor formed really early during my development,” he tells NPR’s Rachel Martin. “So it subsumed my nose and pushed my eyes to the side of my head, like a fish, and made a mess of my face, as you’d expect.”

Hoge lives in Brisbane, Australia, with his wife and two daughters. His new book, for readers age 8 and up, is called Ugly.

On how his mother reacted when she learned about his deformities

I was born in the early 1970s, so before prenatal scans were commonplace, and I’m the youngest of five children. And my parents had four healthy kids before me. I’m not going to call my brothers and sisters normal, but they were certainly healthy. And so I think, you know, my parents had every right to expect the healthy, normal child they thought they were owed. But I turned up without any warning, with these deformities. And my mother didn’t even see me before I was taken away to intensive care, and she knew something was wrong because it was a difficult labor. …

And so I went away to the nursery for a week and then eventually one of the doctors convinced her to come and see me, and when she saw me, she looked down the cot and decided that she couldn’t take me home. And so she went back to her bed in the hospital and thought about that a bit more and talked to every person possible she thought may help her not bring me home: She talked to her sister, she talked to her [general practitioner], she talked to her priest, she talked to her local politician, she talked to the doctors there. But she was pretty adamant that she wasn’t …

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