9 Books About Autism

Exploring autism with Catherine Simpson

More than 1 in 100 people in Scotland have autism. To better understand this complex condition, why not explore the following books?

This list includes memoirs by autistic authors: Luke Jackson talks about adolescence with Asperger Syndrome, Clare Sainsbury describes the struggles of autistic children in school; Daniel Tammet tells of life with rare savant skills; and Temple Grandin writes about how her autism helps her understand the way animals see, think and feel. The memoir of Mary-Ann Tirone Smith describes life with an autistic sibling in 1950's New England before anyone knew what autism was. Then there are novels with autistic characters; for example, Oskar, who obsessively searches for the lock to fit his dead father's key in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; Mark Haddon’s Christopher, who solves The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time; and Lisbeth Salander, the genius hacker in Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Or for the history of autism, read Steve Silberman’s award-winning Neurotypes. And how about characters who could be autistic, for example Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird. Is Boo autistic? I don’t know; what do you think?

Image: Joshua Jenkins (Christopher) in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time UK Tour. Photo by BrinkhoffM+Âgenberg. Flickr Creative Commons.

List created by

Catherine Simpson
Catherine Simpson

Catherine Simpson won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2013. Her debut novel, Truestory, was published by Sandstone Press in September. Truestory tells the tale of a mother struggling to bring up her son who has Asperger’s Syndrome and refuses to leave the isolated farm where he was born, instead interacting with the world via his computer. Catherine was inspired to write the novel after raising her own daughter, Nina, who has autism. Follow Catherine on Twitter @cath_simpson13 and find her at www.catherine-simpson.co.uk.