by Clara Tornvall - £12.99 Scribe Publications (2023)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781914484810 | ISBN 10: 1914484819
‘Törnvall has written an important, illuminating first book, one that deserves to sit alongside the best insider accounts of autism … [The Autists] should be required reading for all parents, partners, friends and colleagues of anyone on the autism spectrum, as well as a road map for autistic women navigating the neurotypical world.’
James Cook, Times Literary Supplement
An incisive and deeply candid account that explores autistic women in culture, myth, and society through the prism of the author’s own diagnosis.
Until the 1980s, autism was regarded as a condition found mostly in boys. Even in our time, autistic girls and women have largely remained undiagnosed. When portrayed in popular culture, women on the spectrum often appear simply as copies of their male counterparts — talented and socially awkward.
Yet autistic women exist, and always have. They are varied in their interests and in their experiences. Autism may be relatively new as a term and a diagnosis, but not as a way of being and functioning in the world. It has always been part of the human condition. So who are these women, and what does it mean to see the world through their eyes?
In The Autists, Clara Törnvall reclaims the language to describe autism and explores the autistic experience in arts and culture throughout history. From popular culture, films, and photography to literature, opera, and ballet, she dares to ask what it might mean to re-read these works through an autistic lens — what we might discover if we allow perspectives beyond the neurotypical to take centre stage.
(Price & availability last checked: February 2024)