‘How to be Autistic’ wins award

The winner of the 2018 Spectrum Art Award, Charlotte Amelia Poe, has won a category award for best biography and memoir in the East Anglian Book Awards. Poe’s book, ‘How to be Autistic’, is an extension of the moving video they submitted to the Spectrum award and it has received many positive reviews.

Alex Hammond of the University of East Anglia, who judged the category, said: “As we follow Charlotte’s journey through school and college, we become as awestruck by their extraordinary passion for life as by the enormous privations that they must undergo to live it. From food and fandom, to body modification and comic conventions, Charlotte’s experiences through the torments of schooldays and young adulthood leave us with a riot of conflicting emotions: horror, empathy, despair, laugh-out-loud amusement and, most of all, respect.”

Other reviewers said:

“Reading this book was one of those experiences where you feel glued to the pages and being away from it without finishing it painful. Once I started, I couldnt stop. I devoured it. Why? Because it is so rare that there is a book about autism, or a book featuring an autistic character, that is actually written by someone who is autistic. Best of all, there is so much reality and truth packed into this book, that it is one of those especially rare occasions where this book is not only authentic, but is a book where at many times it felt like I was reading about myself… This book is one that everyone should read. It’s emotional, raw – and it is informative. It’s brilliant and exactly what the world needs.” Aneurin Reads

“5 stars. This memoir was beautiful. Charlotte Amelia Poe managed to make me laugh, cry, and taught me so much more about what it means to be an autistic person… Not only does Poe talk about being autistic, but they also talk about their own gender and sexuality. They talk about the misconceptions that surround autistic people related to their sexuality, and how they are often infantalized through shows such as the Undateables. They talk about the difficulties of mental health, the failings of the support systems and healthcare for those with mental health needs… This is a multifaceted memoir that gave me a lot to think about and made me question my own preconceptions about autism and my own biases as a neurotypical woman. I really enjoyed reading this memoir and would recommend it to everyone.” The Feminist Nook

The overall winner of the East Anglia Book of the Year Award 2020 will be revealed via an online event on 19 November. Book tickets here

‘How to be Autistic’ is published by Myriad Editions. Buy here