I hope everyone has had a good disability pride month! It’s been hard for me for many reasons, but I wanted to bring you a small collab of 70+ disabled, neurodivergent, and chronically ill writers to go and support! Many people on the list are smaller indie writers and some do not yet have a book out but have one coming. One thing I have learned since realising I am also disabled is that people do not listen to disabled people, let alone multiply marginalised disabled people. Many of the writers on this list are also multiply marginalised, some multiply disabled, some may not even identify with the word disabled which is why I have tried to make the greater post specific to disabled, neurodivergent and chronically ill as I do not want to prescribe a label to someone who may not use it. But everyone listed has openly discussed or mentioned having one of these three things. This collaboration is with Anniek’s Library and Zoe of Books and Coffee. Please check out their posts for the rest of the writers we gathered for this project!
I have included affiliate links to my bookshop page where you can buy some of the books listed here. This is a link to the full list of books from the authors included in this book collaboration.
Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty First Century ed. Alice Wong: “One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent—but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Now, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people. From Harriet McBryde Johnson’s account of her debate with Peter Singer over her own personhood to original pieces by authors like Keah Brown and Haben Girma; from blog posts, manifestos, and eulogies to Congressional testimonies, and beyond: this anthology gives a glimpse into the rich complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites readers to question their own understandings. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and the past with hope and love.” GoodReads. Alice Wong’s other books. Buy Here and support me.
Wicked Fox by Kat Cho: “Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt. But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process. Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl–he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He’s drawn to her anyway. With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.” GoodReads. Kat Cho’s Other books. Buy here and support me.
Sosann: A Corazon Abierto by Susana Ramírez: This is a book by a Spanish photographer with Takayasu’s. It is only available in Spanish but I wanted to include this as I also have Takayasu’s and I want to continue promoting a broad range of media by chronically ill people all over the world. “Two years ago Susana was diagnosed with a rare disease: Takayasu’s Arteritis. A failure in the immune system that causes the body itself to attack the main arteries that lead to the heart. It inflames them, making it difficult for blood to flow through your body. During this time Susana has read a lot about her illness, until she found the emotional meaning of her illness. They say that the Takayasu’s appears in people who are not capable of channeling love and their feelings well. This process leads Susana to rewrite love stories, her greatest escape since adolescence. In this book you will find a compilation of love poems combined with the diary of the reality that Susana has been living these last years. Includes unpublished photographs of the author and illustrations.” Buy Here Amazon. Buy Here Casa De Libro.
Harley Quinn: The Animated Series: The Eat Bang Kill Tour! (2021) by Tee Franklin: “Harley and Ivy on the road trip of the century! Following the wedding disaster of the decade, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy end up on the run from Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD! But as fun as all that sounds, Ivy still worries over leaving Kite Man at the altar… Luckily, Harley’s got the perfect scheme to shake her out of her wedding-day blues!” More Info Here. Tee Franklin’s Other Writing.
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert: Also, the Brown Sisters trilogy and numerous other Romance novels but this is the one I have read so far! “Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how… Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right. Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.” GoodReads. Talia Hibbert’s other books. Buy here and support me.
Ophelia After All (2022) by Racquel Marie: “Ophelia Rojas knows what she likes: her best friends, Cuban food, rose-gardening, and boys – way too many boys. Her friends and parents make fun of her endless stream of crushes, but Ophelia is a romantic at heart. She couldn’t change, even if she wanted to. So when she finds herself thinking more about cute, quiet Talia Sanchez than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, seeds of doubt take root in Ophelia’s firm image of herself. Add to that the impending end of high school and the fracturing of her once-solid friend group, and things are spiraling a little out of control. But the course of love–and sexuality–never did run smooth. As her secrets begin to unravel, Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantasy version of herself she’s always imagined or upending everyone’s expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.” GoodReads. Racquel Marie’s other books.
Crohn’s Disease: Wrestling The Octopus by Nigel Horwood: “After a couple of false starts (or in this case “false ends”) my book “Wrestling The Octopus – The Diary of an IBD Patient” is finally finished. Several times I had thought it was complete only to find that some new, unexpected experience warranted adding an extra chapter or two. What’s the book about? It charts the 40+ years from my diagnosis with Crohn’s Disease up to the start of this new decade. It is not intended to lay out a plan for living with the disease but I hope you find that some of the situations I describe and the ways I have coped (or not coped) may help you with your own methods to manage your disease. The book has been adapted and expanded from the original online journal that I started writing almost ten years ago. Why did I start? Wind the clock back to Summer 2010. I was going to be away from work for an extended period whilst undergoing surgery. A colleague made an off-the-cuff remark that she would like to know how I was getting on whilst away so why not try blogging? She thought it might also prove interesting to other IBD sufferers who were about to follow a similar path. As the list of individual posts grew it seemed sensible to amalgamate them into a narrative and take the opportunity to cull some of the more long-winded or repetitive sections. To fill in the years up to 2010 I obtained my medical records all the way back to diagnosis. They have allowed me to reconstruct the whole story and answer some of the questions that I have had for a long time. The research and writing have proved very therapeutic. I believe it has helped me cope with various new conditions that have arisen and I would recommend it to anyone suffering from a chronic illness.” Nigel Horwood’s Website. Download the book free here.
Kin (2022) by Karl Knights: “I only realised what Kin is about as I was editing it. In a lot of ways, the poems are actually more conventional than they’re given credit for, as they are very much coming of age poems. The only difference is it’s a disabled coming of age! In a very direct way, Kin explores communication, intimacy and community, and the ways we do (or don’t) feel community in our lives.” Publish date June 2022 with the Poetry Business. Follow Karl Knight here.
Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan: I discovered Naoise in a book of essays recently, her essay in We Can Do Better Than This (ed. Amelia Abraham, buy here) was very relatable to me. It lead me to looking her up, and luckily I had some spaces left to fill in this collaboration so I wanted to include this queer, autistic, Irish writer. “Ava moved to Hong Kong to find happiness, but so far, it isn’t working out. Since she left Dublin, she’s been spending her days teaching English to rich children—she’s been assigned the grammar classes because she lacks warmth—and her nights avoiding petulant roommates in her cramped apartment. When Ava befriends Julian, a witty British banker, he offers a shortcut into a lavish life her meager salary could never allow. Ignoring her feminist leanings and her better instincts, Ava finds herself moving into Julian’s apartment, letting him buy her clothes, and, eventually, striking up a sexual relationship with him. When Julian’s job takes him back to London, she stays put, unsure where their relationship stands. Enter Edith. A Hong Kong–born lawyer, striking and ambitious, Edith takes Ava to the theater and leaves her tulips in the hallway. Ava wants to be her—and wants her. Ava has been carefully pretending that Julian is nothing more than an absentee roommate, so when Julian announces that he’s returning to Hong Kong, she faces a fork in the road. Should she return to the easy compatibility of her life with Julian or take a leap into the unknown with Edith? Politically alert, heartbreakingly raw, and dryly funny, Exciting Times is thrillingly attuned to the great freedoms and greater uncertainties of modern love. In stylish, uncluttered prose, Naoise Dolan dissects the personal and financial transactions that make up a life—and announces herself as a singular new voice.” GoodReads. Buy here and support me!
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang: “A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick. Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases—a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old. It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice—with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan—from foreplay to more-than-missionary position… Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic… ” GoodReads. Helen Hoang’s other books. Buy here and support me!
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The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability and Other Reasons To Fall In Love With Me by Keah Brown: “From the disability rights advocate and creator of the #DisabledAndCute viral campaign, a thoughtful, inspiring, and charming collection of essays exploring what it means to be black and disabled in a mostly able-bodied white America. Keah Brown loves herself, but that hadn’t always been the case. Born with cerebral palsy, her greatest desire used to be normalcy and refuge from the steady stream of self-hate society strengthened inside her. But after years of introspection and reaching out to others in her community, she has reclaimed herself and changed her perspective. In The Pretty One, Brown gives a contemporary and relatable voice to the disabled—so often portrayed as mute, weak, or isolated. With clear, fresh, and light-hearted prose, these essays explore everything from her relationship with her able-bodied identical twin (called “the pretty one” by friends) to navigating romance; her deep affinity for all things pop culture—and her disappointment with the media’s distorted view of disability; and her declaration of self-love with the viral hashtag #DisabledAndCute. By “smashing stigmas, empowering her community, and celebrating herself” (Teen Vogue), Brown and The Pretty One aims to expand the conversation about disability and inspire self-love for people of all backgrounds.” GoodReads. Keah Brown’s other books.
Crippled: Austerity and the Demonisation of Disabled People by Frances Ryan: “By the end of 2018 over £28bn of benefit will be cut as a result of the government’s policies on social security, housing, employment, and healthcare, specifically aimed at the disabled community. In the age of austerity, it’s disabled people who are hardest hit, affecting over 3.7 million people. This is in addition to a situation in which half of those in poverty are either disabled or living with a disabled person. In Crippled, leading commentator Frances Ryan tells the story of those most affected by this devastating regime, people who have been too often been silenced. This includes the tetraplegic living in a first floor flat forced to crawl down flights of stairs because the council doesn’t provide accessible housing; the young girl forced to sleep in her wheelchair and admitted to hospital with malnutrition because cuts mean she no longer had a carer to help her get to bed or cook; or the Londoner with schizophrenia found ‘fit for work’, and with nothing to live on was found dead at home three months later. Through these personal stories the book shows the scale of the crisis, while also showing how the disabled community is fighting back. It is a passionate demand for the recognition of disability rights and a call for an end to austerity policies that disproportionately affect those most in need.” GoodReads. Frances Ryan’s other books. Buy here and support me!
Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally by Emily Ladau: “An approachable guide to being a thoughtful, informed ally to disabled people, with actionable steps for what to say and do (and what not to do) and how you can help make the world a more accessible, inclusive place. Disabled people are the world’s largest minority, an estimated 15 percent of the global population. But many of us–disabled and non-disabled alike–don’t know how to act, what to say, or how to be an ally to the disability community. Demystifying Disability is a friendly handbook on important disability issues you need to know about, including:. How to appreciate disability history and identity. How to recognize and avoid ableism (discrimination toward disabled people). How to be mindful of good disability etiquette. How to appropriately think, talk, and ask about disability. How to ensure accessibility becomes your standard practice, from everyday communication to planning special events. How to identify and speak up about disability stereotypes in media. Authored by celebrated disability rights advocate, speaker, and writer Emily Ladau, this practical, intersectional guide offers all readers a welcoming place to understand disability as part of the human experience.” GoodReads. Emily Ladau’s other books. Buy here and support me!
Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism: Voices from Across the Spectrum by Eva A. Mendes and Meredith R. Maroney: “Bringing together a collection of narratives from those who are on the autism spectrum whilst also identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and/or asexual (LGBTQIA), this book explores the intersection of the two spectrums as well as the diverse experiences that come with it. By providing knowledge and advice based on in-depth research and personal accounts, the narratives will be immensely valuable to teenagers, adults, partners and families. The authors round these stories with a discussion of themes across narratives, and implications for the issues discussed. In the final chapter, the authors reflect on commonly asked questions from a clinical perspective, bringing in relevant research, as well as sharing best-practice tips and considerations that may be helpful for LGBTQIA and ASD teenagers and adults. These may also be used by family members and clinicians when counselling teenagers and adults on the dual spectrum. With each chapter structured around LGBTQIA and autism spectrum identities, Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism highlights the fluidity of gender identity, sexual orientation and neurodiversity and provides a space for people to share their individual experiences.” GoodReads. Buy here and support me!
Growing Up Disabled in Australia ed. Carly Findlay: “One in five Australians have a disability. And disability presents itself in many ways. Yet disabled people are still underrepresented in the media and in literature. Growing Up Disabled in Australia is the fifth book in the highly acclaimed, bestselling Growing Up series. It includes interviews with prominent Australians such as Senator Jordon Steele-John and Paralympian Isis Holt, poetry and graphic art, as well as more than 40 original pieces by writers with a disability or chronic illness. Contributors include Dion Beasley, Astrid Edwards, Jessica Walton, Carly-Jay Metcalfe, Gayle Kennedy and El Gibbs.” GoodReads. Carly Findlay’s other books. Buy here and support me!
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Drama Queen: One Autistic Woman and a Life of Unhelpful Labels by Sara Gibbs: “During the first thirty years of her life, comedy script writer Sara Gibbs had been labelled a lot of things – a cry baby, a scaredy cat, a spoiled brat, a weirdo, a show off – but more than anything else, she’d been called a Drama Queen. No one understood her behaviour, her meltdowns or her intense emotions. She felt like everyone else knew a social secret that she hadn’t been let in on; as if life was a party she hadn’t been invited to. Why was everything so damn hard? Little did Sara know that, at the age of thirty, she would be given one more label that would change her life’s trajectory forever. That one day, sitting next to her husband in a clinical psychologist’s office, she would learn that she had never been a drama queen, or a weirdo, or a cry baby, but she had always been autistic. Drama Queen is both a tour inside one autistic brain and a declaration that a diagnosis on the spectrum, with the right support, accommodations and understanding, doesn’t have to be a barrier to life full of love, laughter and success. It is the story of one woman trying to fit into a world that has often tried to reject her and, most importantly, it’s about a life of labels, and the joy of ripping them off one by one” GoodReads. Sara Gibbs’ other books. Buy here and support me!
Being Seen by Elsa Sjunneson: “A Deafblind writer and professor explores how the misrepresentation of disability in books, movies, and TV harms both the disabled community and everyone else. As a Deafblind woman with partial vision in one eye and bilateral hearing aids, Elsa Sjunneson lives at the crossroads of blindness and sight, hearing and deafness—much to the confusion of the world around her. While she cannot see well enough to operate without a guide dog or cane, she can see enough to know when someone is reacting to the visible signs of her blindness and can hear when they’re whispering behind her back. And she certainly knows how wrong our one-size-fits-all definitions of disability can be. As a media studies professor, she’s also seen the full range of blind and deaf portrayals on film, and here she deconstructs their impact, following common tropes through horror, romance, and everything in between. Part memoir, part cultural criticism, part history of the Deafblind experience, Being Seen explores how our cultural concept of disability is more myth than fact, and the damage it does to us all.” GoodReads. Elsa Sjunneson’s other books.
Twisted Roots by A G Parker: “White lies and good intentions have paved the way for Laela’s untamed magic to bleed into the land, resurrecting a terrible power intent on vengeance. Haunted by dreams of a skeletal tree, Laela lives on the outskirts of a village shrouded in secrets. Her mother died hoping to free Laela from a life of duty. Instead, she denied her the chance to know the magic of her bloodline – and the reality of the horrors they were tasked to guard. When her dark and violent history begins to unravel, Laela must reclaim her magic – and uncover the truth of her origin – before the mist and wickedness destroy everything she loves. But Laela’s path is steeped in betrayal, and overcoming evil may not be as easy as killing it… If you enjoyed Aiden Thomas’s Cemetery Boys, Victoria Lee’s The Fever King, and Vylar Kaftan’s Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water, you’ll love Twisted Roots – a dark contemporary fantasy, which weaves together the stories of Laela and her vengeful counterpart, the Witch, in a story of redemption and compassion.” Author Website here.
The Uncertainty of Light by Alana Saltz: “Released by Blanket Sea Press in January 2020. My debut poetry chapbook explores how it feels to inhabit a body that is misunderstood. Through lenses of the natural world, astronomy, science fiction, and pop culture, this evocative collection captures snapshots of a life with chronic illness while tapping into universal experiences of searching for meaning, seeking acceptance, and falling in love.” Purchase this book and the other books by Alana Saltz here.
Sitting Pretty by Rebekah Taussig: “Growing up as a paralyzed girl during the 90s and early 2000s, Rebekah Taussig only saw disability depicted as something monstrous (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). None of this felt right; and as she got older, she longed for more stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling. Writing about the rhythms and textures of what it means to live in a body that doesn’t fit, Rebekah reflects on everything from the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and how the pervasiveness of ableism in our everyday media directly translates to everyday life. Disability affects all of us, directly or indirectly, at one point or another. By exploring this truth in poignant and lyrical essays, Taussig illustrates the need for more stories and more voices to understand the diversity of humanity. Sitting Pretty challenges us as a society to be patient and vigilant, practical and imaginative, kind and relentless, as we set to work to write an entirely different story.” Buy here and support me! Rebekah Taussig’s website.
Beyond The Red by Gabe Cole Novoa: “A series of young adult dystopian science fiction novels by Gabe Cole Novoa, writing under the pen name Ava Jae. Set on a planet where humans and a humanoid native species are in violent conflict, the books include action, forbidden romance, political intrigue, and queer themes. Beyond the Red is Novoa’s debut novel and was written while he was in college. The story, which follows a half-human who finds himself caught in the middle of two cultures, was informed by Novoa’s experiences as a white-passing latinx person. The book was released in 2016 and received critical praise for its worldbuilding. It was followed by the sequels Into the Black (2017) and The Rising Gold (2018)” GoodReads. Check out their other books here.
The Centaur’s Wife by Amanda Leduc: “Heather is sleeping peacefully after the birth of her twin daughters when the sound of the world ending jolts her awake. Stumbling outside with her babies and her new husband, Brendan, she finds that their city has been destroyed by falling meteors and that her little family are among only a few who survived. But the mountain that looms over the city is still green–somehow it has been spared the destruction that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Heather is one of the few who know the mountain, a place city-dwellers have always been forbidden to go. Her dad took her up the mountain when she was a child on a misguided quest to heal her legs, damaged at birth. The tragedy that resulted has shaped her life, bringing her both great sorrow and an undying connection to the deep magic of the mountain, made real by the beings she and her dad encountered that day: Estajfan, a centaur born of sorrow and of an ancient, impossible love, and his two siblings, marooned between the magical and the human world. Even as those in the city around her–led by Tasha, a charismatic doctor who fled to the city from the coast with her wife and other refugees–struggle to keep everyone alive, Heather constantly looks to the mountain, drawn by love, by fear, by the desire for rescue. She is torn in two by her awareness of what unleashed the meteor shower and what is coming for the few survivors, once the green and living earth makes a final reckoning of the usefulness of human life and finds it wanting. At times devastating, but ultimately redemptive, Amanda Leduc’s fable for our uncertain times reminds us that the most important things in life aren’t things at all, but rather the people we want by our side at the end of the world.” GoodReads. Amanda Leduc’s other books. Buy Disfigured and support me!
A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby and Mary Louisa Plummer: “A Two-Spirit Journey is Ma-Nee Chacaby’s extraordinary account of her life as an Ojibwa-Cree lesbian. From her early, often harrowing memories of life and abuse in a remote Ojibwa community riven by poverty and alcoholism, Chacaby’s story is one of enduring and ultimately overcoming the social, economic, and health legacies of colonialism. As a child, Chacaby learned spiritual and cultural traditions from her Cree grandmother and trapping, hunting, and bush survival skills from her Ojibwa stepfather. She also suffered physical and sexual abuse by different adults, and by her teen years she was alcoholic herself. At twenty, Chacaby moved to Thunder Bay with her children to escape an abusive marriage. Abuse, compounded by racism, continued, but Chacaby found supports to help herself and others. Over the following decades, she achieved sobriety; trained and worked as an alcoholism counselor; raised her children and fostered many others; learned to live with visual impairment; and came out as a lesbian. In 2013, Chacaby led the first gay pride parade in her adopted city, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Ma-Nee Chacaby has emerged from hardship grounded in faith, compassion, humor, and resilience. Her memoir provides unprecedented insights into the challenges still faced by many Indigenous people.” GoodReads. Buy here and support me! Check out this book if you are interested in reading more about Native American People and their Culture.
Stim by Kevin Berry: “Robert is different. He has Asperger’s Syndrome. He experiences the world differently to 99% of the population. Follow his entertaining and highly empathetic story as he struggles to realise and accept who he really is, try to understand other people—which he cannot—and find a girlfriend. Especially find a girlfriend—he’s decided it’s his special project for the year. Accompanied on this transformative journey by his quirky flatmates, Chloe (who also has Asperger’s, amongst other things), Stef (who hasn’t, but doesn’t mind) and their oddly-named kitten, Robert endures a myriad of awkward moments in his quest to meet a nice, normal girl…and not even a major earthquake will stop him. This absorbing and humorous story is starkly told from Robert’s point of view, through the kaleidoscope of autistic experience.” GoodReads. Kevin Berry’s other books.
Brace Yourself by S.E. Smart: “Brace Yourself is a light-hearted look at the atypical life of ‘nice’ Lizzy, who doesn’t understand why her body and her men always let her down. Looking to regain control of her life in this rom-com with a twist, will Lizzy’s bright-side attitude finally attract the perfect partner? This isn’t a self-help book, but if you’ve lived with chronic illness you’ll identify with Lizzy’s struggles to stay upright in a world that knocks her down. We join Lizzy on her humorous journey through a series of painful disasters. But with bad choices, bad men and bad Doctors behind her, Lizzy finally braces herself for a comfortable life.” GoodReads.
Stairs and Whispers by Sarah Alland and Khairaini Barrokka and Daniel Sluman: “Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back, edited by Sandra Alland, Khairani Barokka and Daniel Sluman, is a ground-breaking anthology examining UK disabled and D/deaf poetics. Packed with fierce poetry, essays, photos and links to accessible online videos and audio recordings, it showcases a diversity of opinions and survival strategies for an ableist world. With contributions that span Vispo to Surrealism, and range from hard-hitting political commentary to intimate lyrical pieces, these poets refuse to perform or inspire according to tired old narratives.” GoodReads. Buy here and support me!
Sanatorium by Abi Palmer: “A young woman spends a month taking the waters at a thermal water-based rehabilitation facility in Budapest. On her return to London, she attempts to continue her recovery using an 80 pound inflatable blue bathtub. The tub becomes a metaphor for the intrusion of disability; a trip hazard in the middle of an unsuitable room, slowly deflating and in constant danger of falling apart. Sanatorium moves through contrasting spaces – bathtub to thermal pool, land to water, day to night – interlacing memoir, poetry and meditations on the body to create a mesmerising, mercurial debu.” GoodReads. Buy here and support me!
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All The Right Reasons (2022) by Bethany Mangle: “Cara Hawn’s life fell apart after her father cheated on her mother and got remarried to a woman Cara can’t stand. When Cara accidentally posts a rant about her father online, it goes viral—and catches the attention of the TV producers behind a new reality dating show for single parent families. The next thing Cara and her mother know, they’ve been cast as leads on the show and are whisked away to sunny Key West where they’re asked to narrow a field of suitors and their kids down to one winning pair. All of this is outside of Cara’s comfort zone, from the meddling producers to the camera-hungry contestants, especially as Cara and her mother begin to clash on which suitors are worth keeping around. And then comes Connor. As the son of a contestant, Connor is decidedly off-limits. Except that he doesn’t fit in with the cutthroat atmosphere in all the same ways as Cara, and she can’t get him out of her head. Now Cara must juggle her growing feelings while dodging the cameras and helping her mom pick a bachelor they both love, or else risk fracturing their family even more for the sake of ratings. Maybe there’s a reason most people don’t date on TV.” GoodReads.
Spear (2022) by Nicola Griffith: “The girl knows she has a destiny before she even knows her name. She grows up in the wild, in a cave with her mother, but visions of a faraway lake come to her on the spring breeze, and when she hears a traveler speak of Artos, king of Caer Leon, she knows that her future lies at his court. And so, brimming with magic and eager to test her strength, she breaks her covenant with her mother and, with a broken hunting spear and mended armour, rides on a bony gelding to Caer Leon. On her adventures she will meet great knights and steal the hearts of beautiful women. She will fight warriors and sorcerers. And she will find her love, and the lake, and her fate. Nebula and Lambda Award-winning author Nicola Griffith returns with Spear, a glorious queer retelling of Arthurian legend, full of dazzling magic and intoxicating adventure.” GoodReads.
The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang: “An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esme Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalisation to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang’s analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative. An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.” GoodReads. Buy here and support me.
Queer Body Power by Essie Dennis: “As a young, queer, plus-size person, Essie Dennis has spent a lot of time feeling like they weren’t enough – not queer enough, not feminine enough, not perfect enough. When they took to social media to share how they felt, they were overwhelmed by how many others felt the same. I look too masculine to be non-binary I look too feminine to be a lesbian Am I too fat for drag? Inviting you to challenge accepted beauty standards and the concept of ‘the perfect body’, Essie takes everything they have learned on their journey to self-acceptance and body satisfaction to help guide you towards loving your queer body. From gender, sexuality and reclaiming your body, through to food, politics, social media and fatphobia, this radical book starts a conversation about body image and mental health that queer people are so often left out of. Fiercely and unapologetically written, and with honest advice and powerful stories from a diverse range of queer people throughout, this is an inspiring and necessary book that will show you that you are enough.” GoodReads. Buy Here and support me too!
I hope you have all enjoyed my post of recommendations! I wanted to give some promotion to Disabled, Neurodivergent and Chronically Ill writers as I wasn’t personally aware of many until I went looking and most I knew of were people I followed on Twitter, who are Activists, Comedians, and Screen-writers, and were writing memoirs. Whilst I love a good Non-Fiction, I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I wanted to show there are plenty of writers out there who probably write something you will enjoy. We see lots of posts about ‘supporting Trans and Nonbinary authors‘ or ‘Supporting Black authors’ etc. But I haven’t often seen people promoting Disabled/Neurodivergent/Chronically Ill writers to support, and as a creative who comes under all three of those subcategories, it’s something I am passionate about. Don’t forget to check out the other two’s posts linked at the top!
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, my blog and Twitch, subscribe to my youtube channel and like my Facebook page. Check out my TikTok (@ArtieCarden ) and follow my Kofi. I have two shops of my art, one on Kofi and one on RedBubble.
Disabled people are almost twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people. Life costs you £583 more on average a month if you’re disabled. The proportion of working age disabled people living in poverty (27%) is higher than the proportion of working age non-disabled people (19%). These are some statistics from the UK charity Scope. With that in mind, please consider buying these books by disabled writers, and supporting myself and my fellow collaborators with a donation or a tip. You can tip me at my Kofi. I love making posts like this, and my more in-depth educational posts like my We Need To Talk About White Privilege post, as well as all the things I make across other socials. I openly talk about my inability to find accessible work and the pennies I receive from benefits. I’m also open about a lot of the things I deal with as a multiply-marginalised, multi-disabled person. I would like to create change and an impact on society but cannot financially support myself. I put out a lot of free content, so if you like what I do, have learned or gained something from me, or think you’d just like to help me out, please do.