Saturday, March 13, 2010


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: This is a list (as complete as I could make it) of every piece of autobiographical writing ever published in book form by an autistic writer. Lots of different types of writing are represented here --- poetry, essays, vignettes, long non-fiction works dealing with other subjects --- as long as they include significant autobiographical content.

This is the full list of books I included in my chronology of autistic personal narratives. I compiled it in a series of steps: first, I went to and searched for autism memoirs --- using that website's search function, the related books that appear on every book's individual page, and user-generated lists of autistic autobiographies --- then Googled autism memoirs, and discovered several earlier attempts to catalog them --- this list at, this bibliography put together by Amanda Baggs for, this list at, this list from the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation, and this list put together by Donna G. Stevenson --- and finally I went to the websites of every autism-themed specialty publishing house I knew of --- Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Autism Asperger Publishing Company, Future Horizons and SAGE Publications's Lucky Duck imprint --- and paged through their entire inventories. This list includes every English-language title each of those steps yielded (Amanda Baggs's list includes some as-yet-untranslated works in other languages).

Wherever possible, I have included links to each title on its original publisher's website. (If I cannot determine who the original publisher was, I'll link to whichever publisher currently selling the book in question has the fullest description available. This may lead to a conflict between the publication date listed here vs. on the publisher's website).

The definition of "autistic autobiography" I used is accordingly pretty lax; I had thought to restrict it to prose accounts of individual autistic people's own lives, but that proved impractical. Some books blur genre lines, including poetry and short essays dealing with autobiographical themes, or treating general-nonfiction themes in a way that draws heavily on personal experience, as with Temple Grandin's Animals in Translation, which is ostensibly about animal behavior but also draws an extended analogy between its author's experiences and those of the animals she describes and claims to understand. There are also books that, while written and generally categorized as autobiography, contain just as much material about other subjects, like Dawn Prince-Hughes's Songs of the Gorilla Nation, which describes her life with autism and her time working with gorillas in a zoo, and her observations of those gorillas. There are also works that combine different people's perspectives, like Judy and Sean Barron's There's a Boy in Here, and Kamran Nazeer's Send In the Idiots, a collective autobiography of five autistic classmates including himself, and anthologies including lots of different kinds of pieces by lots of different people. There are also, especially among the older autiebiographies, books about which little information is given anywhere on the Internet except a title, author and date of publication. So, in the face of so many challenges to my rigid scheme of classification, I went for the most inclusive option.

The books:

Sean Barron and Judy Barron, There's a Boy In Here (1992)

Sean Barron and Temple Grandin, The Unwritten Rules of Social RelationshipsEX (2005)

Jen Birch, Congratulations! It's Asperger Syndrome (2003)

Lucy Blackman, Lucy's Story: Autism and Other Adventures (1999)

John Brine and Patricia Brine, Two-Stepping in a Waltz World (2000); It's the Only Dance I Know - Asperger's Syndrome: The Journey Continues (2006)

Sofie Koborg Brøsen, Do You Understand Me? My Life, My Thoughts, My Autism Spectrum Disorder (2006)

Andrew Brown, Autistic Shoes - Evolution of Behaviour (2007)

Michael John Carley, Asperger's From the Inside Out: A Supportive and Practical Guide for Anyone with Asperger's Syndrome (2008)

Eric Y. Chen, Mirror Mind: Penetrating Autism's Enigma (2005); Autism and Self-Improvement: My Journey to Accept Planet Earth (2007)

Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg, The Uncharted Path: My Journey with Late-Diagnosed Autism (2010)

Sharon P. Cowhey, Going Through the Motions: Coping with Autism (2005); Going Through the Motions: Coping with Autism 2 (2006)

Kate Noelle Downey and Martha Kate Downey, The People in a Girl's Life: How to Find Them, Better Understand Them and Keep Them (2002)

Dominique Dumortier, From Another Planet: Autism from Within (2004)

David Eastham, Understand: Fifty Memowriter PoemsP (1985)

David Eastham and Margaret Eastham, Silent Words: Forever FriendsP (1990)

Gay Eastoe, Asperger Syndrome: My Puzzle (2005); Asperger Syndrome: ReflectionsP (2008)

Judy Endow, Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism's HelpersP, EX (2006); Paper Words: Discovering and Living with My AutismP (2009)

Jennifer Fan and Autumn Fan, Cinderella with Wrong Shoes: Poems by a young women with autismP (2001)

Marc Fleisher, Making Sense of the Unfeasible: My Life Journey with Asperger Syndrome (2003); Survival Strategies for People on the Autism SpectrumEX (2005)

Gunilla Gerland, A Real Person: Life on the Outside (1996); Finding Out about Asperger Syndrome, High-Functioning Autism and PDDEX (1997)

Temple Grandin, Emergence: Labeled Autistic (1986); Thinking in Pictures: and Other Reports from My Life with Autism (1995); Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal BehaviorOT (2004); The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger'sEX (2008)

Temple Grandin and Kate Duffy, Developing Talents: Careers for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismEX (2004)

Lincoln Grigsby, The Light WithinP (2001)

Will Hadcroft, The Feeling's Unmutual: Growing Up with Asperger Syndrome (Undiagnosed) (2004)

Alison Hale, My World Is Not Your World (1998)

Charles Martel Hale, Jr., and Mary Jane Gray Hale, I Had No Means to Shout! (1999)

Kenneth Hall, Asperger Syndrome, the Universe, and Everything (2000)

Erika Hammerschmidt, Born on the Wrong Planet (2004)

E. Antonio Hernández, No Duty to Retreat: The Stories of Tourette's Syndrome and Asperger's AutismEX (2003)

Ppinder Hundal and Pauline Lukey, "now you know me think more": A Journey with Autism Using Facilitated Communication Techniques (2003)

Luke Jackson, Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence (2002); Crystalline Lifetime: Fragments of Asperger SyndromeP (2006)

Nita Jackson, Standing Down Falling Up: Asperger's Syndrome from the Inside Out (2002)

Quinn Koeneman, Through My Eyes: A Life with Asperger's (2007); Marching Out of Time (2008)

Wendy Lawson, Life Behind Glass: A Personal Account of Autism Spectrum Disorder (2000); Understanding and Working with the Spectrum of Autism: An Insider's ViewEX (2001); Build Your Own Life: A Self-Help Guide for Individuals with Asperger SyndromeEX (2003); Sex, Sexuality and the Autism SpectrumEX (2004); ASPoetry: Illustrated poems from an Aspie LifeP (2006); Friendships: The Aspie WayEX (2006); Concepts of Normality: The Autistic and Typical SpectrumEX (2008)

Grant Manier and Julie Coy-Manier, Dear Journal, I Have Autism (2006)

Nicky "Angel" Mann, And Wake Me with the Morning Light (2003)

Michal Maoz, The Alien in Me: Poetry By a Person with Asperger's SyndromeP (2008)

Jason "J-Mac" McElwain, The Game of My Life: A True Story of Challenge, Triumph, and Growing Up Autistic (2008)

Thomas McKean, Soon Will Come the Light: A View from Inside the Autism Puzzle (1994); Light on the Horizon: A Deeper View from Inside the Autism Puzzle (1996)

Desmond Meldrum, Growing Up with Asperger Syndrome (1994); Coping with Asperger Syndrome (1997); The Asperger Experience (1999); The Alternative Personality (2001)

David Miedzianik, My Autobiography (1986); Now All I've Got Left Is MyselfP (1996); Taking the Load Off My MindP (1996)

Jean Kearns Miller, Women from Another Planet? Our Lives in the Universe of AutismA (2003)
Chris Mitchell, Glass Half Empty, Glass Half Full: How Asperger's Syndrome Changed My Life (2005);Asperger Syndrome and Mindfulness: Taking Refuge in the BuddhaEX, OT (2008)

Caiseal Mór, A Blessing and a Curse: Autism and Me (2007)

Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay, Beyond the Silence: My Life, the World and AutismP (2000, released in the U.S. in 2003 as The Mind Tree: A Miraculous Child Breaks the Silence of Autism); The Gold of the Sunbeams, and Other Stories (2005); How Can I Talk if My Lips Don't Move? Inside My Autistic Mind (2008)

Kamran Nazeer, Send In the Idiots: Or, How We Grew to Understand the WorldM (2006)

Krishna Narayanan, Wasted Talent: Musings of an Autistic (2003)

Krishna Narayanan and Jalaja Narayanan, Quest: Search for a Quality Life (2004)

Jerry Newport, Your Life Is Not a Label: A Guide to Living Fully with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome for Parents, Professionals and You!EX (2001)

Jerry and Mary Newport, Autism-Asperger's and Sexuality: Puberty and BeyondEX (2002); Mozart and the Whale - An Asperger's Love Story (2007)

Jasmine Lee O'Neill, Through the Eyes of Aliens: A Book about Autistic People (1998)

Michael J. O'Reilly, And Love Was All He Said: Growing Up AutisticP (2001)

Thomas S. Page, Caught Between Two Worlds: My Autistic Dilemma (2003)

Tim Page, Parallel Play: Growing Up with Undiagnosed Asperger's (2009)

Jessica Peers, Asparagus Dreams (2003)

Dawn Prince-Hughes, Aquamarine Blue 5: Personal Stories of College Students with AutismA (2002); Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism (2004); Expecting Teryk: An Exceptional Path to Parenthood (2005)

Jeanette Purkis, Finding a Different Kind of Normal: Misadventures with Asperger Syndrome (2006)

Chammi Rajapatirana, The VialP (1999)

John Elder Robison, Look Me In the Eye: My Life with Asperger's (2007)

Adriana Rocha and Kristi Jorde, A Child of Eternity: An Extraordinary Young Girl's Message from the World Beyond (1995)

Craig Romkema, Embracing the Sky: Poems Beyond DisabilityP (2002)

Therese M. Ronan, Therese: Living with Autism (2003)

Clare Sainsbury, Martian in the Playground: Understanding the Schoolchild with Asperger's SyndromeEX, M (2000)

Robert S. Sanders, Jr., Overcoming Asperger's: Personal Experience and Insight (2002); On My Own Terms: My Journey with Asperger's (2004)

Jesse A. Saperstein, Atypical: Life with Asperger's in 20 1/3 Chapters (2010)

Edgar Schneider, Discovering My Autism: Apologia Pro Vita Sua (With Apologies to Cardinal Newman) (1999); Living the Good Life with Autism (2002)

Marc Segar, Coping: A Survival Guide for People with Asperger SyndromeEX (1997)

Birger Sellin, I Don't Want to Be Inside Me Anymore: Messages from an Autistic MindP (1995); In Dark Hours I Find My Way: Messages from an Autistic MindP (1995) - both translated from the German Ich will kein inmich mehr sein, botschaften aus einem autistichen kerker (1993) by Anthea Bell

Stephen Shore, Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome (2001); Ask and Tell: Self-Advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism SpectrumA, EX (2004)

Rich Shull, Autism, Pre Rain Man: Pre Rain Man Autism (2003)

Chris and Gisela Slater-Walker, An Asperger Marriage (2002)

Starfire M. L. Soledad, Spectrums: A Collection of PoemsP(2003)

William Stillman, Demystifying the Autistic Experience: A Humanistic Introduction for Parents, Caregivers and EducatorsEX (2002); The Everything Parent's Guide to Children with Asperger's Syndrome: Help, Hope, and GuidanceEX (2004); Autism and the God Connection: Redefining the Autistic Experience Through Extraordinary Accounts of Spiritual Giftedness (2006); The Autism Answer BookEX (2007); The Soul of Autism: Looking Beyond Labels to Unveil Spiritual Secrets of the Heart Savants (2008); Empowered Autism Parenting: Celebrating (and Defending) Your Child's Place in the WorldEX (2009); The Autism Prophecies: How an Evolution of Healers and Intuitives Is Influencing Our Spiritual Future (2010)

David Strumfels, Wondering About: Curiosity, Imagination, and Science: A Personal Journal by an Unusual MindOT (2010)

Sophia Summers, Asperger's - If You Only Knew: A Family's Struggle with Asperger's Syndrome (2007)

Daniel Tammet, Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant (2007); Embracing the Wide Sky: A Tour Across the Horizons of the Mind (2009)

Matthew Tinsley and Sarah Hendrickx, Asperger Syndrome and Alcohol: Drinking to Cope?EX,OT (2008)

Liane Holliday Willey, Pretending to Be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome (1999); Asperger Syndrome in the Family: Redefining Normal (2001)

Donna Williams, Nobody Nowhere: The Extraordinary Autobiography of an Autistic (1992); Somebody Somewhere: Breaking Free from the World of Autism (1993); Not Just Anything: A Collection of Thoughts on PaperP (1995); Like Colour to the Blind: Soul Searching & Soul Finding (1996); Autism: An Inside-Out ApproachEX (1996); Autism and Sensing: The Unlost InstinctEX (1998); Exposure Anxiety: The Invisible Cage: An Exploration of Self-Protection Responses in the Autism Spectrum and BeyondEX (2002); Everyday Heaven: Journeys Beyond the Stereotypes of Autism (2004); The Jumbled Jigsaw: An Insider's Approach to the Treatment of Autistic Spectrum 'Fruit Salads'EX (2005)

Sondra Williams, Reflections of Self: Poems and Short StoriesP (2005)

Zosia Zaks, Life and Love: Positive Strategies for Autistic Adults (2006)

P - poetry
A - anthology
M - incorporates the stories of multiple autistic people, even though it's written by just one author
OT - mostly about topics other than autism, but includes enough of the author's personal experience that I'm counting it as autiebiography anyway
EX - mostly expository writing about autism in general or one aspect of autistic experience in general, but incorporates the author's personal experiences


Erika Hammerschmidt said...

Wow, you've created a wonderful resource. Somehow I'm feeling alternately surprised that there are so many and surprised that there aren't more. And it's sad that so many books by autistics have been all but lost due to little-known publishers and so on.

I found your blog through your comment on my own blog (I really need to post more there, and clean up the spam comments... bleh) and anyway, I found your posts fascinating, even before I noticed that you had mentioned my book. You're an amazingly thorough researcher.

I also wonder how much fiction (autism-related or otherwise) has been written by people identifying themselves as autistic. I'm on the verge of sending off a science fiction manuscript-- somewhat autism-related-- and I'm probably on the front end of a wave, or whatever metaphor one would use.

Lindsay said...

Thank you, Erika!

I did have quite a lot of help, though, in the groundwork that was already laid by Amanda Baggs and the other compilers of previous bibliographies.

Lindsay said...

Also, about fiction (particularly science fiction and fantasy) written by autistic authors, I know that at least two of the authors on my list have also written fiction!

Will Hadcroft has written a series of children's sci-fi adventure novels featuring a robot girl who is punningly named Anne Droyd. There's Anne Droyd and Century Lodge (2002; re-released by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in 2004), Anne Droyd and the House of Shadows (2008), and he's working on a third one, Anne Droyd and the Ghosts of Winter Hill; he plans to write ten of them eventually.

There's also Caiseal Mór, who's written a lot of fantasy novels: there's the Wanderers series, which includes The Circle and the Cross, The Song of the Earth and The Water of Life; the Watchers series, which includes The Meeting of the Waters, The King of Sleep and The Raven Game; the Wellspring trilogy, which includes The Well of Yearning, The Well of the Goddess, and The Well of Many-Blessings; and also the stand-alone novels The Tilecutter's Penny, Carolan's Concerto, The Harp at Midnight, The Moon on the Lake, Lady of the Lamp and What Is Magic?