An Intro to Disability Lit

Books introducing disability literature to new readers.
Updated September 19, 2022
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Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century
Alice Wong
"Disability rights activist Alice Wong brings tough conversations to the forefront of society with this anthology. It sheds light on the experience of life as an individual with disabilities, as told by none other than authors with these life experiences. It's an eye-opening collection that...
Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space (Exploded Views)
Amanda Leduc
A CBC BOOKS BEST NONFICTION OF 2020 AN ENTROPY MAGAZINE BEST NONFICTION 2020/21 A NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BOOK OF THE DAY (07/23/2022) Fairy tales shape how we see the world, so what happens when you identify more with the Beast than Beauty? If every disabled...
A Face for Picasso: Coming of Age with Crouzon Syndrome
Ariel Henley
A Schneider Family Book Award Honor Book for Teens "Raw and unflinching . . . A must-read!" --Marieke Nijkamp, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of This Is Where It Ends "[It] cuts to the heart of our bogus ideas of beauty." -Scott Westerfeld,...
Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation
Hannah Gadsby
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Multi-award-winning Hannah Gadsby broke comedy with their show Nanette. Now they take us through the defining moments in their life and their powerful decision to tell the truth--no matter the cost. Don't miss Hannah Gadsby's...
Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law
Haben Girma
The incredible life story of Haben Girma, the first Deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School, and her amazing journey from isolation to the world stage. Haben grew up spending summers with her family in the enchanting Eritrean city of Asmara. There, she...
Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Finalist, Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction In their new, long-awaited collection of essays, Lambda Literary Award-winning writer and longtime disability justice activist and performance artist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha explores the politics and realities of disability...
True Biz
Sara Novic
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK * A "tender, beautiful and radiantly outraged" (The New York Times Book Review) novel that follows a year of seismic romantic, political, and familial shifts for a teacher and her students at a boarding school for the deaf,...
Mean Little deaf Queer: A Memoir
Terry Lynn Galloway
In 1959, the year Terry Galloway turned nine, the voices of everyone she loved began to disappear. No one yet knew that an experimental antibiotic given to her mother had wreaked havoc on her fetal nervous system, eventually causing her to go deaf. As a self-proclaimed "child freak," she acted out...
Geek Love
Katherine Dunn
National Book Award Finalist * Here is the unforgettable story of the Binewskis, a circus-geek family whose matriarch and patriarch have bred their own exhibit of human oddities--with the help of amphetamines, arsenic, and radioisotopes. One of The Atlantic's Great...
Planet of the Blind
Stephen Kuusisto
"The sensorium of the blind who possess some marginal vision is by turns magical and disturbing," writes poet and educator Stephen Kuusisto.  "My eyes dance in a private, rising field of silver threads, teeming greens, roses, and smoke."  This is the record of a handicapped life, but it is also an...
The Still Point of the Turning World
Emily Rapp
Like all mothers, Emily Rapp had ambitious plans for her first and only child, Ronan.  He would be smart, loyal, physically fearless, and level-headed, but fun.  He would be good at crossword puzzles like his father.  He would be an avid skier like his mother.  Rapp would speak to him in foreign...
A Room Called Earth
Madeleine Ryan
"[N]uanced and uplifting." --Buzzfeed "[V]ibrant and revealing. Ryan succeeds in capturing neurodiversity on the page." --Publishers Weekly One of Bustle's Best Books of 2020!  An unforgettable story of a fiercely original young woman,...
Starling Days
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
The moving new novel by the author of Harmless Like You, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and NPR Great Read On their first date, Mina told Oscar that she was bisexual, vegetarian, and on meds. He married her anyhow. A challenge to be met....
So Lucky
Nicola Griffith
From the author ofHild, a fierce and urgent autobiographical novel about a woman facing down a formidable foe So Lucky is the sharp, surprising new novel by Nicola Griffith--the profoundly personal and emphatically political story of a confident woman forced to...
The Eighth Girl
Maxine Mei-Fung Chung
Optioned by Netflix and a most anticipated book from Bustle, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, and LitHub! An unsettling, seductive psychological thriller about a young woman with multiple personalities, perfect for fans of Caroline Kepnes and Clare Mackintosh ...
Get a Life, Chloe Brown
Talia Hibbert
The Bride Test
Helen Hoang
Khai Diep has no feelings. Well he can't feel big emotions like love. He thinks he's defective. His mum knows that his autism means he just processes emotions differently, and goes to Vietnam to find him a wife. As a mixed race girl living in Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place,...
Wonder
R. J. Palacio
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Millions of people have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face--who shows us that kindness brings us together no matter how far apart we are. Read the book that inspired the Choose Kind...
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Mark Haddon
NATIONAL BESTSELLER * A modern classic--both poignant and funny--about a boy with autism who sets out to solve the murder of a neighbor's dog and discovers unexpected truths about himself and the world. "Disorienting and reorienting the reader to devastating effect.......
Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body
Rebekah Taussig
A memoir-in-essays from disability advocate and creator of the Instagram account @sitting_pretty Rebekah Taussig, processing a lifetime of memories to paint a beautiful, nuanced portrait of a body that looks and moves differently than most. Growing up as a paralyzed girl...

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