Spring Reads: Books by Disabled Creators and #Ownvoice Stories

Spring is a great time to pick up some fresh reads, so our team at Intimately compiled a list serving up 10 of our favorite books (plus a BONUS at the end!) by disabled authors and/or featuring disabled protagonists. Whether you’re reading at the beach, your couch, or a hammock, pick up one (or several) of these amazing stories and curl up!


#1) Cyborg Detective by Jilian Weise


Paperback: Available

Ebook: Available

Audiobook: No/Unknown

What is it About?: In her third collection of poems, Weise uses imagination and acerbic wit to satirize literary ableism. She reimagines Raymond Carver’s famous story “Cathedral,” countering the popular interpretation that the sighted, married woman and the blind man can’t possibly be sexually attracted to one another. In a poem formatted as an imaginary interview, the speaker says defiantly: “…the one you call artificial and fake and prosthetic. The one I call my leg.” It’s still updated regularly, reminding readers since 2014 of how frequently disabled people are assaulted.

Why We Like it: We love how Weise uses the innovative form of poetry to expose ableist assumptions.


#2) The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang


Paperback: Available

Ebook: Available

Audiobook: No/Unknown

What is it About?: Readers who malign romance in general for outdated, sexist, racist tropes should read authors like Hoang and Jasmine Guillory. Like the author, The Kiss Quotient’s protagonist Stella has Autism Spectrum Disorder. She hires a male escort, Michael, to teach her to be more comfortable during sex. Of course, their rational plans to avoid emotional involvement fail.

Why We Like it: Like the best romantic comedy films, the book has ironic personal and family misunderstandings. The emphasis on consent, respect, and learning each other’s boundaries is equally feminist and fun.


#3) The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis


Paperback: Available

Ebook: Available

Audiobook: No/Unknown

What is it About?: Maggie lost her sight six months ago, but rather than desire the pity of her classmates, she instead cranks up the notch on being rebellious—until a school prank goes too far and she ends up with her very own probation officer. Where she believes her future has been taken from her because of this, suddenly, when she’s able to see again, even if it’s just one person, it helps her understand that she still has a big, bright future ahead of her. Except, when she discovers the real reason she’s able to see this boy and only this boy, she has to pull that belief even further to the forefront of her mind.

Why We Like it: A fast-paced and sweet YA read. Filled with a lot of heart and extremely likable characters.

#4) The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus

Paperback: Available


Ebook: Available

Audiobook: Available

What is it About?: The Perseverance is the remarkable debut book by British-Jamaican poet Raymond Antrobus. Ranging across history and continents, these poems operate in the spaces in between, their haunting lyrics creating new, hybrid territories. The Perseverance is a book of loss, contested language and praise, where elegies for the poet's father sit alongside meditations on the d/Deaf experience.

Why We Like it: Rich and evocative, the poems cut through perceptions of what we think we know about deafness and prejudice.


#5) The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang

Paperback: Available


Ebook: Available

Audiobook: Available

What is it About?: An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the "collected schizophrenias" but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community's own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life.

Why We Like it: An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.

BONUS! Children’s Books!

Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson


Paperback: Available


Ebook: Available

Audiobook: No/Unknown

What is it About?: Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people—but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled.

Why We Like it: We can’t get over the combination of bold collage illustrations and Thompson's lyrical prose that offer a powerful celebration of triumphing over adversity!


Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari


Paperback: Available

Ebook: Available

Audiobook: Available

What is it About?: For Zara's dog, Moose, nothing is more important than being with her favorite girl. So when Zara has to go to school, WHOOSH, Moose escapes and rushes to her side. But Moose can't be held back for long. Through a series of escalating escapes, this loyal dog always finds her way back to Zara, and with a little bit of training and one great idea, the two friends find a way to be together all day long.

Why We Like it: We kind of wish we had a dog like Moose too!


This article is one of many we have on the Intimately.co blog. To read more stories from disabled women click here, to shop our newest adaptive lingerie click here, and to join our amazing community of empowered disabled women click here!


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