Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Autiebibliography Part II - Non-Autobiographical Works by Autistic Authors

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: This is a list of books (ongoing as I discover more --- I'll probably never know if it's finished) written by autistic authors which are not autobiographical or explicitly about autism. It includes fiction, non-fiction about all sorts of subjects, poetry and drama.

While I was compiling my list of autistic autobiographies, it occurred to me that I might have been inadvertently feeding one stereotype (autistic people have no imagination; autistic people can only write about themselves) while trying to demolish another (autistic people can't tell their own stories).

That thought, followed by this comment Erika Hammerschmidt left on the other post, wondering if there were (m)any autistic science-fiction writers, convinced me I should make a similar list of fiction, non-autobiographical, non-autism-related nonfiction, poetry that is not explicitly about being autistic, and plays by autistic writers.

Within the fiction category, fantasy and science fiction are both well-represented.

These books are a bit harder to track down, since writers who aren't writing about autism or being autistic don't have as much of a reason to broadcast their autistic status. There also aren't anywhere near as many, or as extensive, already-existing lists of non-autism-related books by autistic authors.

Accordingly, I can't be as certain that this list is anywhere near complete, and will probably be adding to it as I discover more autistic writers.


Will Hadcroft, Anne Droyd and Century Lodge (2002; re-released by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in 2004); Anne Droyd and the House of Shadows (2008)

Coral Hull, Gangsters (2001); The City of Detroit Is Inside Me (2001); Work the Sex (2002)

David Mamet, The Village (1994); Passover (1995); The Old Religion (1997); Wilson: A Consideration of the Sources (2000)

Jane Meyerding, Everywhere House: A Mystery (1994)

Caiseal Mór, The Circle and the Cross - Book One of The Wanderers (1995); The Song of the Earth - Book Two of The Wanderers (1996); The Water of Life - Book Three of The Wanderers (1997); The Tilecutter's Penny (1998); The Harp at Midnight (1999); Carolan's Concerto (1999); The Meeting of the Waters - Book One of The Watchers (2000); The King of Sleep - Book Two of The Watchers (2001); The Raven Game - Book Three of The Watchers (2002); The Well of Yearning - Book One of the Wellspring series (2004); The Well of the Goddess - Book Two of the Wellspring series (2005); The Well of Many Blessings - Book Three of the Wellspring Series (2005); Lady of the Lamp (2007)

Franklin Newman, The Sorceress of Shandigore: Book 1 of the Knights of Callistor (2006); The Princess of Flourae: Book 2 of the Knights of Callistor (2008); The Abjurationess of Rex Terra: Book 3 of the Knights of Callistor (2009); The Prophetess of Bromfryel: Book 4 of the Knights of Callistor (2009)

Dawn Prince-Hughes, Adam (2001)

Will Rogers, The Stonking Steps: A Journey Through ING-ONG-UNG (2004)

Robert S. Sanders, Jr., Mission of the Galactic Salesman (1996); Mission Beyond the Ice Cave: Atlantis-Mexico-Zotola (1999); Heritage Findings from Atlantis (2000); Walking Between Worlds: A Novel of an American in Mexico (2001), written under the name Robert Alquzok; Galactic Salesman Trilogy Synopsis (2003)

Gilles Tréhin, Urville (2006)

Ryan Wilson, The Legendary Blobshocker (1999)


Temple Grandin, Genetics and the Behavior of Domestic Animals (1998); Animal Welfare and Meat Science (1999); Livestock Handling and Transport (2000); Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior (2005); Humane Livestock Handling: Understanding Livestock Behavior and Building Facilities for Healthier Animals (2008); Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals (2009); Improving Animal Welfare: A Practical Approach (2010)

David Mamet, Chicago Performs: A Guide to Theatre and Dance (1977); Writing in Restaurants (1987); Some Freaks (1989); On Directing Film (1991); Make Believe Town: Essays and Remembrances (1996); True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor (1997); Three Uses of the Knife: On the Nature and Purpose of Drama (1998); On Acting (1999); Jafsie and John Henry: Essays (1999); Directions: South of the Northeast Kingdom (2002); The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Self-Hatred, and the Jews (2006); Bambi vs. Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose and Practice of the Movie Business (2007); Theatre (2010)

Jane Meyerding, We Are All Part of One Another: A Barbara Deming Reader (1984)

Caiseal Mór, Scratches in the Margin: Wisdom from the Celtic Tradition (1996); The Moon on the Lake: The Renaissance of the Celtic Spirit (1997); What Is Magic? How to Get What You Want without Losing Your Soul (2009)

Dawn Prince-Hughes, The Archetype of the Ape-Man: The Phenomenological Archaeology of a Relic Hominid Ancestor (2000); Gorillas Among Us: A Primate Ethnographer's Book of Days (2001)

Robert S. Sanders, Jr., Dr. Seat Belt: The Life of Robert S. Sanders, M.D.: Pioneer in Child Passenger Safety (2008)

Vernon L. Smith, Investment and Production: A Study in the Theory of the Capital-Using Enterprise (1961); Research in Experimental Economics (1982); Papers in Experimental Economics (1991); Bargaining and Market Behavior: Essays in Experimental Economics (2000); Rationality in Economics: Constructivist and Ecological Forms (2008)

William Stillman and Jay Scarfone, The Wizard of Oz: The Official 50th Anniversary Pictorial History (1989, with John Fricke); The Wizard of Oz Collector's Treasury (1992, with Tim McGowan); The Wizard of Oz: The Film Classic Comes to Life with Sound and Stunning Three-Dimension (2000); The Wizardry of Oz: The Artistry and Magic of the 1939 MGM Classic - Revised and Expanded Edition (2004)

Mary Margaret Britton Yearwood, In Their Hearts: Inspirational Alzheimer's Stories (2003)


Coral Hull, Broken Land (1997); How Do Detectives Make Love? (1998); Zoo (2000, with John Kinsella); Bestiary (2002)


Anemone Cerridwen, Jock the Unicorn; SARsquatch; True Confessions of an Alien Groupie; Farmer's Son; Susannah of the Mounties --- these are all screenplays, I don't *think* any have been made into movies yet, and I don't know when she wrote any of them. Some of them --- Jock the Unicorn and True Confessions of an Alien Groupie --- are being serialized on Anemone's film blog, Genius with a Parachute

David Mamet, Lakeboat (1970); The Duck Variations (1972); Lone Canoe (1972); Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1974); Squirrels (1974); American Buffalo (1975); Reunion (1976); The Water Engine (1976); A Life in the Theatre (1977); Revenge of the Space Pandas (1978); The Woods (1979); The Blue Hour (1979); The Postman Always Rings Twice (screenplay, 1980); The Verdict (screenplay, 1981); Edmond (1982); The Frog Prince (1983); Glengarry Glen Ross (1984); The Shawl (1985); Vint (1986); The Untouchables (screenplay, 1986); We're No Angels (screenplay, 1987); Things Change (screenplay, 1987); Speed-the-Plow (1988); Bobby Gould in Hell (1989); Oleanna (1992); The Cryptogram (1995); The Old Neighborhood (1997); Boston Marriage (1999); Romance (2005); The Voysey Inheritance (2005); Faustus (2006); Keep Your Pantheon (2007); November (2007); The Vikings and Darwin (2008); Race (2009)

Saturday, March 13, 2010


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: This is a list (as complete as I could make it) of every piece of autobiographical writing ever published in book form by an autistic writer. Lots of different types of writing are represented here --- poetry, essays, vignettes, long non-fiction works dealing with other subjects --- as long as they include significant autobiographical content.

This is the full list of books I included in my chronology of autistic personal narratives. I compiled it in a series of steps: first, I went to Amazon.com and searched for autism memoirs --- using that website's search function, the related books that appear on every book's individual page, and user-generated lists of autistic autobiographies --- then Googled autism memoirs, and discovered several earlier attempts to catalog them --- this list at Everything2.com, this bibliography put together by Amanda Baggs for autistics.org, this list at neurodiversity.com, this list from the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation, and this list put together by Donna G. Stevenson --- and finally I went to the websites of every autism-themed specialty publishing house I knew of --- Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Autism Asperger Publishing Company, Future Horizons and SAGE Publications's Lucky Duck imprint --- and paged through their entire inventories. This list includes every English-language title each of those steps yielded (Amanda Baggs's list includes some as-yet-untranslated works in other languages).

Wherever possible, I have included links to each title on its original publisher's website. (If I cannot determine who the original publisher was, I'll link to whichever publisher currently selling the book in question has the fullest description available. This may lead to a conflict between the publication date listed here vs. on the publisher's website).

The definition of "autistic autobiography" I used is accordingly pretty lax; I had thought to restrict it to prose accounts of individual autistic people's own lives, but that proved impractical. Some books blur genre lines, including poetry and short essays dealing with autobiographical themes, or treating general-nonfiction themes in a way that draws heavily on personal experience, as with Temple Grandin's Animals in Translation, which is ostensibly about animal behavior but also draws an extended analogy between its author's experiences and those of the animals she describes and claims to understand. There are also books that, while written and generally categorized as autobiography, contain just as much material about other subjects, like Dawn Prince-Hughes's Songs of the Gorilla Nation, which describes her life with autism and her time working with gorillas in a zoo, and her observations of those gorillas. There are also works that combine different people's perspectives, like Judy and Sean Barron's There's a Boy in Here, and Kamran Nazeer's Send In the Idiots, a collective autobiography of five autistic classmates including himself, and anthologies including lots of different kinds of pieces by lots of different people. There are also, especially among the older autiebiographies, books about which little information is given anywhere on the Internet except a title, author and date of publication. So, in the face of so many challenges to my rigid scheme of classification, I went for the most inclusive option.

The books:

Sean Barron and Judy Barron, There's a Boy In Here (1992)

Sean Barron and Temple Grandin, The Unwritten Rules of Social RelationshipsEX (2005)

Jen Birch, Congratulations! It's Asperger Syndrome (2003)

Lucy Blackman, Lucy's Story: Autism and Other Adventures (1999)

John Brine and Patricia Brine, Two-Stepping in a Waltz World (2000); It's the Only Dance I Know - Asperger's Syndrome: The Journey Continues (2006)

Sofie Koborg Brøsen, Do You Understand Me? My Life, My Thoughts, My Autism Spectrum Disorder (2006)

Andrew Brown, Autistic Shoes - Evolution of Behaviour (2007)

Michael John Carley, Asperger's From the Inside Out: A Supportive and Practical Guide for Anyone with Asperger's Syndrome (2008)

Eric Y. Chen, Mirror Mind: Penetrating Autism's Enigma (2005); Autism and Self-Improvement: My Journey to Accept Planet Earth (2007)

Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg, The Uncharted Path: My Journey with Late-Diagnosed Autism (2010)

Sharon P. Cowhey, Going Through the Motions: Coping with Autism (2005); Going Through the Motions: Coping with Autism 2 (2006)

Kate Noelle Downey and Martha Kate Downey, The People in a Girl's Life: How to Find Them, Better Understand Them and Keep Them (2002)

Dominique Dumortier, From Another Planet: Autism from Within (2004)

David Eastham, Understand: Fifty Memowriter PoemsP (1985)

David Eastham and Margaret Eastham, Silent Words: Forever FriendsP (1990)

Gay Eastoe, Asperger Syndrome: My Puzzle (2005); Asperger Syndrome: ReflectionsP (2008)

Judy Endow, Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism's HelpersP, EX (2006); Paper Words: Discovering and Living with My AutismP (2009)

Jennifer Fan and Autumn Fan, Cinderella with Wrong Shoes: Poems by a young women with autismP (2001)

Marc Fleisher, Making Sense of the Unfeasible: My Life Journey with Asperger Syndrome (2003); Survival Strategies for People on the Autism SpectrumEX (2005)

Gunilla Gerland, A Real Person: Life on the Outside (1996); Finding Out about Asperger Syndrome, High-Functioning Autism and PDDEX (1997)

Temple Grandin, Emergence: Labeled Autistic (1986); Thinking in Pictures: and Other Reports from My Life with Autism (1995); Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal BehaviorOT (2004); The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger'sEX (2008)

Temple Grandin and Kate Duffy, Developing Talents: Careers for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismEX (2004)

Lincoln Grigsby, The Light WithinP (2001)

Will Hadcroft, The Feeling's Unmutual: Growing Up with Asperger Syndrome (Undiagnosed) (2004)

Alison Hale, My World Is Not Your World (1998)

Charles Martel Hale, Jr., and Mary Jane Gray Hale, I Had No Means to Shout! (1999)

Kenneth Hall, Asperger Syndrome, the Universe, and Everything (2000)

Erika Hammerschmidt, Born on the Wrong Planet (2004)

E. Antonio Hernández, No Duty to Retreat: The Stories of Tourette's Syndrome and Asperger's AutismEX (2003)

Ppinder Hundal and Pauline Lukey, "now you know me think more": A Journey with Autism Using Facilitated Communication Techniques (2003)

Luke Jackson, Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence (2002); Crystalline Lifetime: Fragments of Asperger SyndromeP (2006)

Nita Jackson, Standing Down Falling Up: Asperger's Syndrome from the Inside Out (2002)

Quinn Koeneman, Through My Eyes: A Life with Asperger's (2007); Marching Out of Time (2008)

Wendy Lawson, Life Behind Glass: A Personal Account of Autism Spectrum Disorder (2000); Understanding and Working with the Spectrum of Autism: An Insider's ViewEX (2001); Build Your Own Life: A Self-Help Guide for Individuals with Asperger SyndromeEX (2003); Sex, Sexuality and the Autism SpectrumEX (2004); ASPoetry: Illustrated poems from an Aspie LifeP (2006); Friendships: The Aspie WayEX (2006); Concepts of Normality: The Autistic and Typical SpectrumEX (2008)

Grant Manier and Julie Coy-Manier, Dear Journal, I Have Autism (2006)

Nicky "Angel" Mann, And Wake Me with the Morning Light (2003)

Michal Maoz, The Alien in Me: Poetry By a Person with Asperger's SyndromeP (2008)

Jason "J-Mac" McElwain, The Game of My Life: A True Story of Challenge, Triumph, and Growing Up Autistic (2008)

Thomas McKean, Soon Will Come the Light: A View from Inside the Autism Puzzle (1994); Light on the Horizon: A Deeper View from Inside the Autism Puzzle (1996)

Desmond Meldrum, Growing Up with Asperger Syndrome (1994); Coping with Asperger Syndrome (1997); The Asperger Experience (1999); The Alternative Personality (2001)

David Miedzianik, My Autobiography (1986); Now All I've Got Left Is MyselfP (1996); Taking the Load Off My MindP (1996)

Jean Kearns Miller, Women from Another Planet? Our Lives in the Universe of AutismA (2003)
Chris Mitchell, Glass Half Empty, Glass Half Full: How Asperger's Syndrome Changed My Life (2005);Asperger Syndrome and Mindfulness: Taking Refuge in the BuddhaEX, OT (2008)

Caiseal Mór, A Blessing and a Curse: Autism and Me (2007)

Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay, Beyond the Silence: My Life, the World and AutismP (2000, released in the U.S. in 2003 as The Mind Tree: A Miraculous Child Breaks the Silence of Autism); The Gold of the Sunbeams, and Other Stories (2005); How Can I Talk if My Lips Don't Move? Inside My Autistic Mind (2008)

Kamran Nazeer, Send In the Idiots: Or, How We Grew to Understand the WorldM (2006)

Krishna Narayanan, Wasted Talent: Musings of an Autistic (2003)

Krishna Narayanan and Jalaja Narayanan, Quest: Search for a Quality Life (2004)

Jerry Newport, Your Life Is Not a Label: A Guide to Living Fully with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome for Parents, Professionals and You!EX (2001)

Jerry and Mary Newport, Autism-Asperger's and Sexuality: Puberty and BeyondEX (2002); Mozart and the Whale - An Asperger's Love Story (2007)

Jasmine Lee O'Neill, Through the Eyes of Aliens: A Book about Autistic People (1998)

Michael J. O'Reilly, And Love Was All He Said: Growing Up AutisticP (2001)

Thomas S. Page, Caught Between Two Worlds: My Autistic Dilemma (2003)

Tim Page, Parallel Play: Growing Up with Undiagnosed Asperger's (2009)

Jessica Peers, Asparagus Dreams (2003)

Dawn Prince-Hughes, Aquamarine Blue 5: Personal Stories of College Students with AutismA (2002); Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism (2004); Expecting Teryk: An Exceptional Path to Parenthood (2005)

Jeanette Purkis, Finding a Different Kind of Normal: Misadventures with Asperger Syndrome (2006)

Chammi Rajapatirana, The VialP (1999)

John Elder Robison, Look Me In the Eye: My Life with Asperger's (2007)

Adriana Rocha and Kristi Jorde, A Child of Eternity: An Extraordinary Young Girl's Message from the World Beyond (1995)

Craig Romkema, Embracing the Sky: Poems Beyond DisabilityP (2002)

Therese M. Ronan, Therese: Living with Autism (2003)

Clare Sainsbury, Martian in the Playground: Understanding the Schoolchild with Asperger's SyndromeEX, M (2000)

Robert S. Sanders, Jr., Overcoming Asperger's: Personal Experience and Insight (2002); On My Own Terms: My Journey with Asperger's (2004)

Jesse A. Saperstein, Atypical: Life with Asperger's in 20 1/3 Chapters (2010)

Edgar Schneider, Discovering My Autism: Apologia Pro Vita Sua (With Apologies to Cardinal Newman) (1999); Living the Good Life with Autism (2002)

Marc Segar, Coping: A Survival Guide for People with Asperger SyndromeEX (1997)

Birger Sellin, I Don't Want to Be Inside Me Anymore: Messages from an Autistic MindP (1995); In Dark Hours I Find My Way: Messages from an Autistic MindP (1995) - both translated from the German Ich will kein inmich mehr sein, botschaften aus einem autistichen kerker (1993) by Anthea Bell

Stephen Shore, Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome (2001); Ask and Tell: Self-Advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism SpectrumA, EX (2004)

Rich Shull, Autism, Pre Rain Man: Pre Rain Man Autism (2003)

Chris and Gisela Slater-Walker, An Asperger Marriage (2002)

Starfire M. L. Soledad, Spectrums: A Collection of PoemsP(2003)

William Stillman, Demystifying the Autistic Experience: A Humanistic Introduction for Parents, Caregivers and EducatorsEX (2002); The Everything Parent's Guide to Children with Asperger's Syndrome: Help, Hope, and GuidanceEX (2004); Autism and the God Connection: Redefining the Autistic Experience Through Extraordinary Accounts of Spiritual Giftedness (2006); The Autism Answer BookEX (2007); The Soul of Autism: Looking Beyond Labels to Unveil Spiritual Secrets of the Heart Savants (2008); Empowered Autism Parenting: Celebrating (and Defending) Your Child's Place in the WorldEX (2009); The Autism Prophecies: How an Evolution of Healers and Intuitives Is Influencing Our Spiritual Future (2010)

David Strumfels, Wondering About: Curiosity, Imagination, and Science: A Personal Journal by an Unusual MindOT (2010)

Sophia Summers, Asperger's - If You Only Knew: A Family's Struggle with Asperger's Syndrome (2007)

Daniel Tammet, Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant (2007); Embracing the Wide Sky: A Tour Across the Horizons of the Mind (2009)

Matthew Tinsley and Sarah Hendrickx, Asperger Syndrome and Alcohol: Drinking to Cope?EX,OT (2008)

Liane Holliday Willey, Pretending to Be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome (1999); Asperger Syndrome in the Family: Redefining Normal (2001)

Donna Williams, Nobody Nowhere: The Extraordinary Autobiography of an Autistic (1992); Somebody Somewhere: Breaking Free from the World of Autism (1993); Not Just Anything: A Collection of Thoughts on PaperP (1995); Like Colour to the Blind: Soul Searching & Soul Finding (1996); Autism: An Inside-Out ApproachEX (1996); Autism and Sensing: The Unlost InstinctEX (1998); Exposure Anxiety: The Invisible Cage: An Exploration of Self-Protection Responses in the Autism Spectrum and BeyondEX (2002); Everyday Heaven: Journeys Beyond the Stereotypes of Autism (2004); The Jumbled Jigsaw: An Insider's Approach to the Treatment of Autistic Spectrum 'Fruit Salads'EX (2005)

Sondra Williams, Reflections of Self: Poems and Short StoriesP (2005)

Zosia Zaks, Life and Love: Positive Strategies for Autistic Adults (2006)

P - poetry
A - anthology
M - incorporates the stories of multiple autistic people, even though it's written by just one author
OT - mostly about topics other than autism, but includes enough of the author's personal experience that I'm counting it as autiebiography anyway
EX - mostly expository writing about autism in general or one aspect of autistic experience in general, but incorporates the author's personal experiences

Friday, March 12, 2010

By the Numbers: Autiebiography and Gender

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: I did some research to try to identify every autobiography ever written by an autistic person, of which the first seems to be David Eastham's 1985 book of poetry Understand. I tabulated the number of autobiographies by male vs. female authors from 1985 to 2009 (see graphs below) and found that those numbers were very close to equal. There were slightly more books by male authors overall, and within every five-year interval within the period I looked at. The total number of books being written also increased dramatically in the early 2000s, peaking in 2003.

Ever since I first started reading autobiographical works by other autistic people, I noticed that most of the books I saw fitting this description had been written by women.

While this was a bonus for me, being an autistic girl and mostly wanting to read about other girls, it did register as odd that so many of these chroniclers of their autistic childhoods should be female, when so many more men and boys than girls and women have diagnoses of autism, and when autism is so widely understood as a boy thing.

So now, with the help of Google and Amazon.com, I've decided to see if this preponderance of Lady Autism Writers really existed, or was an artifact of my choosing to read more women's stories.

As far as I can tell, every first-person narrative ever written (as of now) by an autistic person identifying themselves as such, is represented as a dot on this timeline:

(Red dots represent books written by female authors; blue dots are books written by male authors.)

You can see that, quite contrary to my initial belief, there isn't any such preponderance of autistic women's autobiographies at all! At every point along the timeline, there are either a) approximately equal numbers of books being written by men and by women, or b) slightly more being written by men.

Overall, too, slightly more are written by men, as this second graph shows:

You might argue that this is still an overrepresentation of female autistics, since there's only supposed to be one of us for every four male autistics, and I'd go along with that, although with the caveats that we're still not sure how much of the gender gap is due to diagnostic biases favoring men and boys, and that autistic autobiographies include the stories of people who were not diagnosed until middle age --- a group that probably has a male/female ratio closer to 1:1.

(Why should I have perceived an imbalance when none really existed? Well, part of the reason might be the selection bias I already mentioned, but Amanda Baggs names some other factors that might help to give lots of people this impression: books by male authors tend not to be as well known --- there's no male equivalent of Temple Grandin, for instance --- and to be self-published or published by very small and obscure publishing companies, and to go out of print. Amanda also mentions that most of the non-speaking authors are male; that may also contribute to the male authors' relative obscurity).