Selections by Mark O'Brien
MARK O’BRIEN was a poet and journalist who lived in Berkeley, California. After contracting polio at the age of six, he spent most of his life in an iron lung. The 2012 film The Sessions was adapted from his essay “On Seeing a Sex Surrogate,” about having sex for the first time at the age of thirty-six. He is also the subject of the 1996 Academy Award–winning documentary Breathing Lessons. O’Brien’s autobiography, How I Became a Human Being: A Disabled Man’s Quest for Independence, was co-written with Gillian Kendall. His work has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle and Whole Earth Review. He died in July 1999 from post-polio syndrome.

by Mark O'Brien, February 1999 (Issue 278)

by Mark O'Brien, November 1992 (Issue 203)

by Mark O'Brien, January 1987 (Issue 134)

by Mark O'Brien, April 1985 (Issue 113)