8 of my Favourite Non-Fiction Books about Disability

I have tried to find books written by disabled people and these are some of the best I have read. These have all given me valuable insight into the experience of being disabled – some are also confronting (which is necessary), some are beautifully written, some are funny. All are worth your time if you, like me, read in order to widen your understanding of people and the world.

A good place to see more is by following #disabilityreads on Instagram.

1. SITTING PRETTY: THE VIEW FROM MY ORDINARY RESILIENT BODY by REBEKAH TAUSSIG

This is one of my favourite books, of any genre. It does exactly what I want a book to do – speak truthfully and lyrically about complex issues. It really digs into the ways that disabled people are made to feel like the difficulties they face are individual, when actually they’re societal. It’s funny, feminist, and powerful.

Buy it here

2. DISABILITY VISIBILITY: FIRST-PERSON STORIES FROM THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY edited by ALICE WONG

This is a collection of writing by a really diverse group of disabled people and so there is something for everyone. I have dipped in and out of it, taking my time to read the whole book. The range of topics and styles make it a powerful anthology, representing views and insights that I haven’t read elsewhere.

Buy it here

3. SAY HELLO by CARLY FINDLAY

Carly Findlay is a colourful, insightful presence on social media and her book is just as clear and powerful. She challenges how we approach physical difference and disability, and how widely held assumptions affect her, and is entirely convincing in dismantling prejudice.

Buy it here

4. THE PRETTY ONE by KEAH BROWN

This collection of essays covers disability, popular culture, race, discrimination and how to find joy in complexity. It’s about a woman growing up in America and Keah Brown is a smart, accessible narrator. 

Buy it here

5. CONSTELLATIONS by SINEAD GLEESON 

I don’t often re-read books but I have read this twice. I absolutely love Sinead Gleeson’s writing. This collection covers parenting, femininity, family, love, death and bodies. A lot of it isn’t explicitly about disability, but her descriptions of being ill and using a wheelchair as a younger woman are powerful and affecting.

Buy it here

6. DEAR PARENTS by MICHELINE MASON

I was lucky to see Micheline Mason speak when my son was younger, but this book is a good alternative to hearing her in person. Micheline addresses the relationship between disabled children and their parents. She is both a disabled person and a parent of a disabled child and her insights can feel challenging, but are undoubtedly necessary.

Buy it here

7. WHAT THE **** IS NORMAL? by FRANCESCA MARTINEZ

Francesca Martinez is a comedian and so, of course, this is a funny book about being ‘wobbly’. She combines autobiographical detail with a more general campaign against the ways in which we are taught that normal is best.

Buy it here

8. THE WORLD I FELL OUT OF by MELANIE REID

Melanie Reid became disabled following an accident and so this is an account of coming to disability relatively late. It describes all the ways in which she had to accommodate her changed body, and how that altered the ways she saw and was seen by the world. It is unflinching and compelling.

Buy it here

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