Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

September Books 19) Representing Autism: Culture, Narrative, Fascination, by Stuart Murray

Rather an academic book, but very interesting, looking at the way in which autism is portrayed in culture: Rain Man and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, obviously, but many other examples are invoked including a couple from long before the formal definition of autism (Melville's Bartleby, Dickens's Barnaby Rudge). Murray uses these to warn us to be very wary of stereotypes which are reinforced by these popular narratives - of the autistic person as idiot, or savant (or both), or as family wrecker or tragic victim of a condition that can be "cured". He very much reinforces my own prejudice that autism as an extraordinary window into what it is to be human, and punctures some lazy assumptions along the way.
Tags: bookblog 2012, life: autism
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