How to be Autistic
Poe's voice is confident, moving and often funny, as she reveals to usa very personal account of autism, mental illness, gender and sexual identity. As we follow Charlotte's journey through school and college, we becomeas awestruck by her extraordinary passion for life as by the enormousprivations that she must undergo to live it. From food and fandom, tobody modification and comic conventions, Charlotte's experiencesthrough the torments of schooldays and young adulthood leave us witha riot of conflicting emotions: horror, empathy, despair, laugh-out-loudamusement and, most of all, respect.
For Charlotte, autism is a fundamental aspect of her identity and art. Sheaddresses her reader in a voice that is direct, sharply clever and ironic. She witnesses her own behaviour with a wry humour as she sympathiseswith those who care for her, yet all the while challenging the neurotypicalnarratives of autism as something to be `fixed'.
`I wanted to show the side of autism that you don't find in booksand on Facebook. My story is about survival, fear and, finally, hope. There will be parts that make you want to cover your eyes, but Ibeg you to read on, because if I can change just one person'sperceptions, if I can help one person with autism feel like they'reless alone, then this will all be worth it.'This is an exuberant, inspiring, life-changing insight into autism from aviewpoint almost entirely missing from public discussion.
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Charlotte Amelia Poe is a self-taught artist and writer living in Lowestoft, Suffolk. They also work with video, and won the inaugural Spectrum Art Prize with the film they submitted, ‘How To Be Autistic’.2019
Adult Non Fiction
Biography and Autobiography