We’re happy to have a chance to chat with Marieke Nijkamp—WNDB VP of finance, autistic author, and previous Disability in Kidlit contributor—about her work and autism in literature.
Author Marieke Nijkamp
For all that there are moments when Rose’s voice is nuanced and shines, those nuances continuously pushed aside for a far more stereotypical narrative. This is not the story of an autistic character written for an inclusive audience; this is a story about an autistic character written for a neurotypical audience.
If our contributors could tell an author writing a character with their disability one thing–besides “do your research”–what would it be?
Is any representation better than no representation? That argument frequently comes up in response to criticism, but is it valid?
For disabled characters, being cured is a common trope. What’s more, in most of these narratives, the characters are cured because they’re better than they were at the start of the book: kinder, gentler, braver. And finally, finally, they’re normal and whole.