In January, as you remember, I started with the most obvious category, that of race. For February I want to head in the opposite direction and tackle the invisible. Let's take a look at people with conditions that have no obvious outward symptoms, the ones they don't ask for, that nobody else can see, but which affect their behaviour in ways that other people find puzzling, incomprehensible, or even offensive. I am talking about things like autism, Alzheimer's, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, depression. That list is not meant to be exhaustive but I hope you get the idea. As usual, your challenge is to find novels or memoirs about and preferably by people who have one of these conditions (and different from yours, if you have one) and walk a mile in someone else's shoes. Extra bragging points if the person in question is also a person of colour.
There are many fewer books out that fit this description, so here is a short list to get you started. Please leave other suggestions as I'm sure many of us could use help with this one. As always, feel free to post a link to your review in the comments.
- Still Alice by Lisa Genova. A novel about a professor with early onset Alzheimer's.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. Autism.
- Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison. A memoir.
And if you just discovered this reading challenge, there is nothing at all stopping you from working your way backward.