AUTISTERNA – OM KVINNOR PÅ SPEKTRAT – THE AUTISTS: WOMEN ON THE SPECTRUM
By Clara Törnvall
Why did the poet Emily Dickinson write poems about the sea without ever having seen it? Why is Wonderland so strange to Alice? Why does movie star Daryl Hanna so often play a robot or a mermaid? What does the philosopher Simone Weil mean with “to love oneself as a stranger”? And why do the TV-viewers think that Greta Thunberg is joking?
The Autistic – Women on the Spectrum is a personal essay about women with high-functioning autism. The book studies how the autistic woman has been positioned in culture, myths and reality. Who is she, who has she been, and why has she been invisible for so long?
The adult autistic woman is a person that we do not yet know. Up until the 1980s, autism was regarded as a condition reserved for boys. In movies and TV-shows, the talented and socially awkward woman is still portrayed as a copy of the manly nerd, with the same interest in computer games, the Rubik’s Cube, and train timetables.
And yet, these women exist, and always have existed, in all social classes and cultures. With her own autism evaluation as a framework, Clara Törnvall takes a journey back in time and sees her own and others’ history through new eyes.
The Autists is set in the reception rooms at the neuropsychiatry in Stockholm; in cultural history and at the kitchen table in the homes of ordinary autistic women. It’s an eye-opening book that questions our view of normality and deviation, and a group of women who’ve been invisible in society up until now.