To help fill up your ‘to be read’ list in 2023, we’re highlighting five brilliant books by people with disability for you to pick up next.
Available at all good bookstores, online or for kindles.
This is far from an exhaustive list - we know there’s many amazing authors with disability. A much anticipated read due to be released this year is ‘Access Your Drive and Enjoy the Ride’ by Lauren (Lolo) Spencer. We can’t wait for this one!
1. Sitting Pretty - edited by Rebekah Taussig
“Growing up as a paralyzed girl during the 90s and early 2000s, Rebekah Taussig only saw disability depicted as something monstrous (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). None of this felt right; and as she got older, she longed for more stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling.
Writing about the rhythms and textures of what it means to live in a body that doesn’t fit, Rebekah reflects on everything from the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and how the pervasiveness of ableism in our everyday media directly translates to everyday life.
Disability affects all of us, directly or indirectly, at one point or another. By exploring this truth in poignant and lyrical essays, Taussig illustrates the need for more stories and more voices to understand the diversity of humanity. Sitting Pretty challenges us as a society to be patient and vigilant, practical and imaginative, kind and relentless, as we set to work to write an entirely different story.”
2. Different, Not Less – by Chloé Hayden
“An empowering lived-experience guide to celebrating and supporting neurodivergence from 24-year-old actor, social media star and disability advocate Chloé Hayden
Growing up, Chloé Hayden felt like she'd crash-landed on an alien planet where nothing made sense. Eye contact? Small talk? And why are you people so touch-oriented? She moved between 10 schools in 8 years, struggling to become a person she believed society would accept, and was eventually diagnosed with autism and ADHD. When a life-changing group of allies showed her that different did not mean less, she learned to celebrate her true voice and find her happily ever after.”
3. Growing Up Disabled in Australia – edited by Carly Findlay
“My body and its place in the world seemed quite normal to me.
One in five Australians have a disability. And disability presents itself in many ways. Yet disabled people are still underrepresented in the media and in literature.
Growing Up Disabled in Australia is the fifth book in the highly acclaimed, bestselling Growing Up series. It includes interviews with prominent Australians such as Senator Jordon Steele-John and Paralympian Isis Holt, poetry and graphic art, as well as more than 40 original pieces by writers with a disability or chronic illness.”
4. Disability Visibility – edited by Alice Wong
“From original pieces by authors like Keah Brown and Haben Girma, to blog posts, manifestos, eulogies, congressional testimonies, and beyond, this anthology gives a glimpse into the rich complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites listeners to question their own understandings. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and the past with hope and love.”
5. We’ve Got This – edited by Eliza Hull
“How does a father who is blind take his child to the park? How is a mother with dwarfism treated when she walks her child down the street? How do Deaf parents know when their baby cries in the night?
When writer and musician Eliza Hull was pregnant with her first child, like most parents-to-be she was a mix of excited and nervous. But as a person with a disability, there were added complexities. She wondered: Will the pregnancy be too hard? Will people judge me? Will I cope with the demands of parenting? More than 15 per cent of Australian households have a parent with a disability, yet their stories are rarely shared, their experiences almost never reflected in parenting literature.
In We’ve Got This, twenty-five parents who identify as Deaf, disabled or chronically ill discuss the highs and lows of their parenting journeys and reveal that the greatest obstacles lie in other people’s attitudes. The result is a moving, revelatory and empowering anthology.”