Writers On the Spectrum

April 16, 2024

I've just started reading Writers on the Spectrum by professor of literature Julia Brown. In it, Brown examines the life and work of several authors thought to be autistic, including Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, Lewis Carroll, Hans Christian Andersen, William Butler Yeats and others.

According to Brown, spectrum writing shares some very distinctive characteristics. Not surprisingly, I can recognize most of them in my own work. Some are "problems" I've been struggling with for years. Thanks to Brown, it occurs to me that struggling to be like other (non-autistic) writers may not be the answer.

While I've gained insight into what the answer is not, however, I'm less clear on what it is. 

Maybe the answer is to switch genres, like Hans Christian Anderson did, or keep my writing close, like Emily Dickinson. Or just do my own thing and have fun with it, like Lewis Carroll in the Alice books.

Whatever it is, I will figure it out and when I do you'll be the first to know.

I'll be talking more about Writers on the Spectrum and some of the authors  Brown features in an upcoming post.
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Writers on the Spectrum (affiliate link) is available on Amazon. Please note that if you purchase a book via one of my links, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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