The Autist's Guide to the Galaxy: Navigating the World of Normal People

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5.0 X 7.7 X 0.7 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author
Clara Törnvall has been a journalist and producer since the early 2000s. She's produced programs for Swedish radio and TV, as well as written articles/chronicles for various media outlets. Her first book, The Autists: women on the spectrum, was written after her diagnosis with autism at the age of 42 and has been published in 12 languages.
Alice E. Olsson is a literary translator, writer, and editor working across Swedish and English. She has served as the Cultural Affairs Adviser at the Embassy of Sweden in London and is the recipient of a fellowship as well as multiple grants from the Swedish Arts Council. She has been shortlisted for the 2020 Peirene Stevns Translation Prize and the 2023 Bernard Shaw Prize.

"Clara Törnvall's cheeky, illuminating social manual The Autist's Guide to the Galaxy turns the tables on autism conversations by focusing on how to engage with neurotypical people ... Because articles about neurodiversity are often penned by non-autists--sometimes with the implicit directive to 'help' those with diagnoses conform themselves more to the rest of the world--Swedish author, producer, and autist Törnvall steps in with lighthearted realism ... With its tips to help autists thrive, The Autist's Guide to the Galaxy is an encouraging, entertaining overview of common social challenges."

Praise for The Autists:

"Törnvall has written an important, illuminating first book, one that deserves to sit alongside the best insider accounts of autism ... [The Autists] should be required reading for all parents, partners, friends, and colleagues of anyone on the autism spectrum, as well as a road map for autistic women navigating the neurotypical world."
--James Cook, Times Literary Supplement

"Journalist Törnvall seeks comfort in the stories of other autistic women throughout history in her illuminating debut ... An insightful and involving narrator, Törnvall movingly explores how women with so-called "high-functioning autism" persisted in harnessing their abilities whether or not they lived in a time that recognised their neurotype. This winning combination of memoir and cultural history stimulates and entertains in equal measure."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Even if you ought to avoid hyping the autistic as superheroes, Törnvall shows that conformity to the norm is a ludicrous waste of the power in these beautiful brains."
--Dagens Nyheter

"The Autists is a medical, cultural, psychological history of autism research, diagnosis, and representation. It is framed as a memoir, but goes far beyond that ... This will be an eye-opening and useful book for people with preconceptions about autism and autists ... This is an excellent book to help you understand how autism works, full of clear and entertaining examples and anecdotes, beautifully written and translated (by Alice E. Olsson) so that it reads smoothly and swiftly. Whether you are neurodivergent, know someone who is, or are simply interested in seeing the world as it really is, there is a lot to be learned from this short entertaining book."
--Henry Oliver, The Common Reader

"Törnvall was diagnosed as autistic at the age of forty-two, and The Autists takes her own experience as a lens through which to explore the phenomena and experiences of autistic women more generally. Its research is wide-ranging ... I was particularly delighted by Törnvall's chapter on language, "Too Much Faith in Words"."
--Caitlin McGregor, Sydney Review of Books