For a long time, literature lacked disabled voices, gatekeeping publishing and leaving us with an interesting homogenous book landscape. No more. The book world is bubbling with all types of authors with multiple identity intersections, just waiting for you to find them.
So crack open one of these books centering disability that aren’t trauma or inspiration porn, because we’re so done with that.
Hearing Happiness by Jaipreet Virdi
Jaipreet Virdi searched relentlessly for a “cure” after a case of meningitis at four left her deaf. As she struggled to “pass” as hearing or fit into the deaf community, countless remedies offered no reprieve. Now, in adulthood, she reexamines her deafness and what it means in the context of an ableist society. This electrifying mix of memoir and history makes for an inspiring and introspective read.
Golem Girl by Riva Lehrer
People have tried to “fix” Riva Lehrer since she was born in 1958 with spina bifida. Told she will never succeed in life or reach the “normal” milestones of marriage and employment, Lehrer joins a group of artists and performers actively building Disability Culture. Lehrer becomes inspired and asks to paint their portraits. As she works on each of her masterpieces, she finds herself rethinking what “normalcy” means at all.
Sincerely, Your Autistic Child by the Austistic Women and Nonbinary Network
Combating the clinical and limited view of autism presented to parents, the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network offers a collection of diverse stories seeking to showcase the authentic reality of growing up on the autism spectrum. Featuring honest discussions about things like emotional needs and sensitivity, this anthology simultaneously highlights the joy awaiting parents and children in this dynamic “love letter.”
The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp, illustrated by Manuel Preitano
Barbara Gordon must undergo physical therapy at the Arkham Center for Independence after a gunshot wound leaver her paralyzed below the waist. As patients begin to disappear at night she must reconcile with her trauma and solve the dangerous mystery of the center, before it’s too late.
Being Seen by Elsa Sjunneson
Media studies professor Elsa Sjunneson has witnessed all the portrayals of disability in pop culture, good and bad. As a deafblind woman, Sjunneson navigates life full of the visible and audible reactions to her disability that she can still pick up. In this memoir and cultural critique, she examines the one-size-fits-all idea of what disability should look like, and how media continues to impact our perceptions of disability in Being Seen out October 5, 2021.
A Face For Picasso by Ariel Henley
Ariel Henley’s writing packs quite the punch, just read her essay in Disability Visibility to find out. Diagnosed with Crouzon syndrome along with her twin sister, Henley endured multiple intense, bone-breaking procedures to ensure organ growth. The only thing more painful than the surgeries was the emotional toll of living with a facial disfigurement and the wildly hurtful and inappropriate interactions that came with it. In her YA memoir out November 2, 2021, Henley details “resilience, sisterhood, and the strength it takes to put your life, and yourself, back together time and time again.”
FEATURED IMAGES VIA AMAZON, BARNES AND NOBLE, SIMON & SCHUSTER