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Non-Fiction Books By Disabled Voices

World Book Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate incredible reads by disabled authors! The following list contains just a handful of the many titles that are out there. As well as non-fiction books about disability and lived experiences, there are many disabled people who write fiction or produce books spanning more broader topics than disability alone. However, this list may serve as a starting point if you’re looking for some brilliant new reads.

 

Stim, edited by Lizzie Huxley-Jones

Stim book cover. The cover is white with a light blue, lilac and light green sponge painted design on the front. Black text in capital letters reads Stim, An Autistic Anthology, edited by Lizzie Huxley-Joes

This book is a collection of creative works from a diverse range of neurodivergent contributors. Some of these contributors express impactful thoughts and describe the social barriers they face, while others celebrate the joy and meaning that can be found by belonging to this community. Each contribution varies in length and form, but many are succinct and easily digestible for people with a shorter attention span or symptoms of brain fog.

 

The View From Down Here by Lucy Webster

Book cover has a pale orange background. The title, The View From Down Here, is written in red.  Life As A Young Disabled Woman is written under the title in white. The author's name, Lucy Webster, is in the bottom left hand corner in white text. The silouette of a woman in a wheelchair takes up the left side of the cover. It is pink and the outline detail is in red. The silouette is shown from the woman's chin to thalfway down the wheel's of the wheelchair. The woman's hands are placed facing upwards in her lap.

In this memoir, Lucy shares her experiences of navigating life with a severe disability. The topics range from the complex emotions behind recruiting and forming bonds with care workers, navigating the world of dating and a desire to become a parent one day and the love and joy of female friendships that always remains a constant. Above all else, this book serves as a powerful call to arms, to ensure that people’s intersectional feminism includes and empowers disabled women too.

 

How To Do Life With A Chronic Illness by Pippa Stacey

The book cover is yellow with a cream coloured path winding up the middle of it. The author;s name, Pppa Stacey, is at the top in red capital letters.  The title - How To Do Life With Chronic Illness - is in the centre of the book in a teal blue colour. The tagline reads - reclaim your identity, create independence and find your way forward.

Often, conversations about chronic illness are deeply embedded in the medical model of disability. This book, however, aims to be a one-stop guide on how people can live their best life alongside their chronic illness, rather than relying on the outdated narrative that people must be healed or experience recovery to live a life that truly brings them happiness. Alongside bespoke advice and guidance, the book contains lived experiences from the author and a diverse range of contributors, spanning topics from adapting your hobbies and accessible ways to socialise, to rediscovering your identity and setting realistic goals for the future.

 

Go The Way Your Blood Beats by Emmett de Monterey

The cover shows a paved street. There is a puddle of water which has oil in it, causing the light to cast a range of colours including pink, orange, purple and blue. The title - Go The Way Your Blood Beats, A Memoir - is written in white down the left side of the book. The author's name, Emmett de Monterey is in white in the lower right hand corner.

Emmett has always felt a longing to fit in. But as a black, disabled and LGBTQ+ individual, finding a sense of belonging in an ableist world has been filled with challenges. He openly shares his childhood experiences of being portrayed as the ‘inspirational’ disabled person in the media who medicine declared they would ‘fix’, and the impact that this, and the consequent inability to ‘fix’ him, has had on his sense of self. This book is a stark reminder of the ableism that exists around us and at times can be a difficult read, but ultimately tells the story of how this writer kept on moving forward and found the courage to live as his most authentic self.

 

All Tangled Up In Autism And Chronic Illness by Charli Clement

The book cover is yellow with multicoloured lines tangled across it. The title - All Tangled Up in Autism and Chronic Illness is in the centre in black text. The author;s name, Charli Clement, is above this in black smaller text. Below the title is the tagline -  a guide to navigating multiple conditions.

In this book, Charli describes and tackles the multiple barriers that come with being both a chronically ill and neurodivergent person. They shed light on the challenges that come with managing competing needs and how sometimes the things that aid one set of access needs antagonise the other, and in doing so they have created a unique and valuable resource for the growing number of people who find themselves tasked with the same challenge. Charli’s book also contains some excellent resource lists where you can find plenty of material for further reading and research.

 

The Words That Saved Me by Sarah Mozer

The book cover is light blue. The title is written in white text - The Words That Saved Me. Below this is a simple drawing of a bed in dark blue. Underneath this it reads, a poetry collection and the author's name, Sarah Mozer.

If you enjoy poetry or you’re keen to try something different, this newly-released collection chronicles the author’s experiences of living with Severe M.E. – a disabling chronic illness that often leaves individuals housebound or bedbound. Through this book, Sarah offers a profound insight into a world that others rarely get to see. Her words don’t shy away from the loss, hardships, and emotional turmoil she has experienced, but they also tell of the ways she strove to stay true to herself and hold onto hope and light even during the most difficult times.

 

The Pretty One by Keah Brown

A pink strip at the top of the cover has the author's name, Keah Brown' in white text on it. The author is photographed, laughing at the camera, tucking her hair behind her left ear with her left hand. Keah is a black female, with shoulder length, straight black hair. She is wearing glasses and a grey chunky knit jumper. The title - Pretty One - is written along the bottom of the book cover.

You may know Keah as the founder of the iconic #DisabledAndCute hashtag. The movement went viral on social media at the time it was begun and has remained a well-loved pillar of the online disability community ever since – especially by younger generations of disabled people. In her debut non-fiction book, the author shares a collection of essays about the realities of being black and disabled in the USA, the complexities of growing up alongside a non-disabled twin sister, learning to celebrate herself, and how her undying love of pop culture has influenced the person she’s become.

 

These titles are just an introduction to a wealth of great material by disabled voices. Reading can provide a huge sense of comfort when we find words we can relate to, but also offers a powerful way to learn about lived experiences that are different from our own. If you have a favourite book by a disabled author, feel free to share it with us on social media!

 

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