Thursday 1 July 2021

#BlogTour In Other Words edited by Mainspring Arts

An anthology of lively and imaginative short fiction by eight autistic writers, with a foreword by David Mitchell and introduction by Joanne Limburg. It's my turn on the BlogTour  In Other Words edited by Mainspring Arts.

About the Author

Mainspring Arts, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to making the arts inclusive, diverse, and accessible to all, was founded in 2015 by Katya Balen and Miranda Prag. They were frustrated by the lack of diversity in the arts, where neurotypical and non-disabled actors or writers frequently assume the roles or voices of neurodivergent people, or those with disabilities. Katya and Miranda  believe those people should be able to tell their own stories, and Mainspring Arts exists to help them do it. Follow @mainspring_arts on Twitter

About the book

A shift in the nature of light reveals an eighth colour in the visible spectrum. A boy befriends the last tree in the natural world. A single mother finds help at the darkest point of her life. A young man finds himself trapped in a university overrun by crows.

These stories and more form In Other Words, an anthology as diverse as the writers themselves. Some cover trauma, societal issues and stigma; others offer fragments of hope and light. Some reach back in time while others transport us to another dimension altogether. There is heartbreak, wit, humour, poignancy and above all a mastery of the imagination.

What these transcendent stories share is that they were created by autistic writers, people often dismissed as unimaginative or incapable of creativity – a myth that has persisted for generations. This collection hopes to shatter those stereotypes, those misconceptions and misunderstandings, and the perception that one must be neurotypical to be afforded a voice in the arts.


The introduction makes a valid point. The majority of successful books and screen versions of autism are written by non-autistic individual. These stories are written by autistic writers. The difference is vast, the first describing the experience from the outside as an observer and the second writing as a first-hand experiencer.

This contains eight stories: A Conversation of Sparrows Jon Adams, Standard Candles - Damian Sawyer, Light Revolution - J.B. Whiskey, The Crows - Kate Roy, The Last Tree - Sarah, The Clockmaker - Esther Lowery, The Beach House - Luke Matthews and Winona the Angelic Wizard - Richard Baskett.

I think Mainspring are on to something here. It breaks boundaries and threatens to dispel the many myths society has about art and writing as it is visualised and interpreted by society, and especially how its perceived as created by autistic artists and authors.

It's a fascinating book with equally captivating stories. I think it's one of those scenarios where you read the stories as you would any other then add on another layer of perception. The speculative element takes on another dimension.

Buy In Other Words at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Unbound pub date 24 Jun. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

No comments:

Post a Comment