Neurodiverse Authors for April

Neurodiversity has entered the public consciousness in a new way over the past decade. Though often associated with autism and attention deficit disorders, neurodiversity encompasses a wide variety of cognitive differences, including dyslexia and dyscalculia, Tourette’s syndrome, and schizophrenia. With a new and more multifaceted understanding of the science behind what makes us different, a wave of thinkpieces and bestselling books have changed the conversation. Researchers from multiple corners of the scientific community have weighed in, as well as parents of neurodiverse children and teachers who’ve worked with them, but one group has pushed harder than ever to make their voices heard in the conversation: neurodivergent people themselves. 

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang – Written as a gender-flipped send-up to Pretty Woman, this debut novel follows Stella, an autistic woman who decides to try a hands-on approach at deciphering romance when she hires an escort to help her learn about love. Hoang wrote this book in the process of her own journey through being diagnosed with autism in her 30’s, and offers a refreshing insight into relationships on the spectrum.


The Collected Schizophrenias by Esme Weijun Wang – A collection of essays by journalist and mental health advocate Weijun Wang, detailing her journey through being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Covering a variety of topics from the medical community’s handling of labeling and procedures to the flaws of institutionalism, to masking and the concept of being high versus low-functioning, The Collected Schizophrenias offers a multifaceted and deeply personal insight into a condition still often misunderstood by the public. 


Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler – A legendary pioneer of speculative science fiction, Butler’s early life was marked by the importance of reading and writing and, perhaps surprisingly, struggles with school because of her dyslexia. Parable chronicles the journey of Lauren, a teenage girl living in the confines of a barricaded city in a post-apocalyptic world devastated by climate change and social inequality. Lauren was born with hyper-empathy, a condition that makes her feel others’ pain and joy as if it were her own, and works to navigate both this and her changing religious faith amidst a world fraught with danger. 

April is Autism Acceptance Month, and an excellent time to learn more about not only autism, but the full spectrum of neurodiversity. 

Posted in Reviews and Recommendations.

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