The Lit Club: Autism Awareness month

  



[Image description: Three cartoonishly drawn people sit on the blue and pink background. Two of them are reading books, while the middle one is holding theirs open and looking up. Above them is the title: Books we read for the autism awareness month.]

 

Edited by Kseniia Gridneva



Hello, bookworms! This month’s Lit Club theme is Autism Awareness books. Remember, books are good for information and education, but change starts with action. Enjoy!

 

If you want to read our most recent edition click here, or all of our archived editions, click here

 

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[Image description: Cover of Carly's Voice by Arthur and Carly Fleischmann. It is a picture of Carly, dressed in white and shouting at the sky. It is reversed so Carly is above and the sky is below. The title is in red, while the authors listed are in green.]


Carly's Voice by Arthur and Carly Fleischman


I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this book and I think the reading of this book as well as the discussion on it is important to anyone interested in autism and disability activism.


Review by Emily Bourne.



[Image description: Cover of How to be autistic by Charlotte Amelia Poe. The cover is light green and has an outline of Charlotte with bright pink, shoulder-length hair, dressed in a black and white striped shirt. Both the title and author's name is appeared to be written using black chalk. ]


How to be Autistic by Charlotte Amelia Poe


How to be Autistic is a raw, honest, and emotional collection of personal essays penned by a person growing up with undiagnosed autism. Charlotte Amelie Poe takes us by the hand and walks us through everything they endured. We read of Charlotte’s childhood and school life, where they are not just bullied but also failed by the authority figures around them again and again. It is a heartbreaking description of how cruel the world can be to those who don’t fit the norm. 

And yet, How to be Autistic is not a tear-jerker written specifically to shame those who hurt Poe throughout their life. This book is extremely positive and hopeful, not shying away from the sad truths but not dwelling on them either. Charlotte’s accounts of things that saved them were my favourite essays to read. Their introduction to the fandom, as a safe space to explore their ideas of relationships sexuality and gender, their blur of a win of the Spectrum Art Prize in 2018, and finally their love for body modifications:

“My tattoos are like a sheet of armour I can put over the top of [my autism], a distraction from the way I can’t quite make eye contact or that I’m shaking a little too much.”

Poe’s memoir is both a painful and inspiring exploration of their life’s cosmos “we're all made of star-stuff”. Charlotte now works as an artist and defies the old, archaic stereotype that people with autism are not creative or empathetic. After all their idea for this book and the video you can find online by the same name was to both create something beautiful and to help those in similar circumstances. And is it not what we all want, both neurotypical and autistic people?

Review by Kseniia Gridneva.