An urgent, funny, shocking, and impassioned memoir by the winner of the UK Spectrum Art Prize 2018, How To Be Autistic presents the rarely shown point of view of someone living with autism.
Poe's voice is confident, moving and often funny, as she reveals to us
a very personal account of autism, mental illness, gender and sexual
As we follow Charlotte's journey through school and college, we become
as awestruck by her extraordinary passion for life as by the enormous
privations that she must undergo to live it. From food and fandom, to
body modification and comic conventions, Charlotte's experiences
through the torments of schooldays and young adulthood leave us with
a riot of conflicting emotions: horror, empathy, despair, laugh-out-loud
amusement and, most of all, respect.
For Charlotte, autism is a fundamental aspect of her identity and art. She
addresses her reader in a voice that is direct, sharply clever and ironic.
She witnesses her own behaviour with a wry humour as she sympathises
with those who care for her, yet all the while challenging the neurotypical
narratives of autism as something to be `fixed'.
`I wanted to show the side of autism that you don't find in books
and on Facebook. My story is about survival, fear and, finally, hope.
There will be parts that make you want to cover your eyes, but I
beg you to read on, because if I can change just one person's
perceptions, if I can help one person with autism feel like they're
less alone, then this will all be worth it.'
This is an exuberant, inspiring, life-changing insight into autism from a
viewpoint almost entirely missing from public discussion.
About the Author
Charlotte Amelia Poe is a self-taught artist and writer living in Lowestoft,
Suffolk. She also works with video, and won the inaugural Spectrum Art
Prize in 2018 with her video, `How To Be Autistic'.