Book review by Katie Munday (They / them)

[Trigger warning: mention of mental health issues, ableism and suicide.]

Book cover: a smashed glass pane background. White text on a yellow bar near the bottom of the page reads: The new normal, autistic musings on the threat of a broken society. A black bar beneath shows the authors name in white text: David Gray-Hammond

Written by David Gray-Hammond (Emergent Divergence) The New Normal takes a nuanced look at the state of the world through the lens of Autistic experience.

David Gray-Hammond is an Autistic mental health and addiction advocate, writer and consultant. He is Autistic and is in recovery from addiction and psychosis. He currently works at Gecko Community CIO, running a support group for young substance users.

The New Normal is an anthology which explores the experiences of neuronormativity and how these social constructs effect and oppress neurodivergent people. The book is a collection of David’s essays which cover many ideas including Autistic representation in the media, mental health and suicidality, and radical advocacy.

Throughout these essays David reflects on the violence and marginalisation which effects all neurodivergent people and sets out a more accepting and wondrous world. David explores the creation of  ‘Autopia’ and all the difficulties we will face when creating a world where clashing needs are accommodated.

Neuroqueer theory, the neurodiversity paradigm and rhetoricity are intwined throughout The New Normal, creating a strong understanding of current issues for Autistic people and how these can be overcome. The New Normal is an exciting and formative reflection on a broken society and how, together, we can build a better world for all of us.

You can buy David’s book through Amazon, here.

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