Imagining Autism

Imagining Autism : Fiction and Stereotypes on the Spectrum

3.46 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A disorder that is only just beginning to find a place in disability studies and activism, autism remains in large part a mystery, giving rise to both fear and fascination. Sonya Freeman Loftis's groundbreaking study examines literary representations of autism or autistic behavior to discover what impact they have had on cultural stereotypes, autistic culture, and the identity politics of autism. Imagining Autism looks at fictional characters (and an author or two) widely understood as autistic, ranging from Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Harper Lee's Boo Radley to Mark Haddon's boy detective Christopher Boone and Steig Larsson's Lisbeth Salander. The silent figure trapped inside himself, the savant made famous by his other-worldly intellect, the brilliant detective linked to the criminal mastermind by their common neurology-these characters become protean symbols, stand-ins for the chaotic forces of inspiration, contagion, and disorder. They are also part of the imagined lives of the autistic, argues Loftis, sometimes for good, sometimes threatening to undermine self-identity and the activism of the autistic community.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17.78mm | 440g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0253018005
  • 9780253018007
  • 1,678,190

Review quote

Very useful for those interested in disability studies, cultural studies, and literature. . . . Recommended. * Choice * It is to be hoped that this engrossing book will encourage discussion and further work about fictional characters portrayed as autistic, even if not labeled as such. It is a book that will be of value to everyone interested in neurodiversity and the dangers of stereotyping. Itshould also appeal to any one who wants a different perspective on a favorite character. It is highly recommended reading. * H-Disability * In examining the concerns and misconceptions that drive depictions of people with ASD, Loftis sheds light on the representations that can lead to discrimination against those who have related conditions. * Library Journal * An important and necessary early step in bringing the study of autism into the field of literary studies. * Disability Studies Quarterly * A groundbreaking examination of autism. * Disability & Society *show more

About Sonya Freeman Loftis

Sonya Freeman Loftis is Assistant Professor of English at Morehouse College, where she specializes in Shakespeare and disability studies. Her work has appeared in Disability Studies Quarterly, Shakespeare Bulletin, SHAW: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies, and South Atlantic Review.show more

Table of contents

Introduction1. The Autistic Detective: Sherlock Holmes and his Legacy2. The Autistic Savant: Pygmalion, Saint Joan, and the Neurodiversity Movement3. The Autistic Victim: Of Mice and Men and Flowers for Algernon4. The Autistic Gothic: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Glass Menagerie, and The Sound and the Fury 5. The Autistic Child Narrator: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time6. The Autistic Label: Diagnosing (and Un-Diagnosing) the Girl with the Dragon TattooAfterwordNotesIndexshow more

Rating details

13 ratings
3.46 out of 5 stars
5 15% (2)
4 31% (4)
3 38% (5)
2 15% (2)
1 0% (0)
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