Celebrating Diverse Fiction
This month, the kids and I stumbled upon a beautiful book we’re currently reading and loving, The Infinite by Patience Agbabi. It features a 12 year old girl, Elle, who was born with the gift of time travel and just happens to be black and part of a Neurodiverse cast, which was a beautiful surprise.
The narration is from the first-person point of view of Elle, who sees the world as an Autistic person, and I believe Agbabi has nailed Elle’s perspective.
As a parent of Neurodiverse (ND) kids, a partner to a ND adult, and being Autistic and having ADHD myself, the kids and I have utterly fallen for Elle’s story.
She’s independent and self assured, but is still fighting against common self doubts of ND’s, which the kids and I deeply relate to. She knows herself through and through, knows her strengths and what she struggles with and is further empowered by the open-minded and empathetic adults around her, who give her the scope and space to tackle her own goals without assuming she’s incapable.
Autism and ADHD are nuanced and unique for each person, there are traits I’ve suppressed and masked without realising it, and other traits I don’t experience but my children do, and the insights that Agbabi shares through Elle about these traits are helping to broaden and strengthen my knowledge of myself and my family.
It’s helping to strengthen my children’s views on who they are and what the world could be like. Elle’s story helps them paint a beautiful picture of their potential in a world that has the ability to welcome differences, but also, the potential they have despite the worlds’ current state.
This novel powerfully embraces Elle’s ND perspective and her African culture, without making either an issue or plot device of the story.
The Infinite is a story about Elle, a 12 year old who can leap through time, who receives a secret message about someone in trouble in the future, and whose perspective just happens to be different to so many of us.
Elle’s is a story that needs to be shared. My heartfelt thanks to Patience Agbabi, for bringing it into the world.
Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
This novel was a thought provoking one. It’s a whirlwind of a ride for the characters, while the reader looks on with despair and intrigue. Despite covering a fair chunk of mathematic and physics concepts, it presents them in a beautiful way through the online world of Three Body. The final conflict, is less a conflict and more of a reveal, all of the strange occurrences come together to make sense and throw the characters off balance. It’s wonderfully dark.
For fear of spoiling the central concept of the story, I can’t go further, but I highly recommend this as a dive into Chinese fiction for those who love both scientific theory and sci-fi.
Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction vol. 2 edited by Tarun K. Saint and Manjula Padmanabhan.
This collection has been a delightful experience so far. I love the dark stuff, but there’s always a hint of hope, victory, persistence, humanity in each of these stories that pulls as through all the darknesses of our world and toward futures that could one day be real.
I’m about 40% through so far, I want to digest each story individually, so I’ve been reading slower than usual. I look forward to finishing the collection in December and sharing more thoughts on these powerful pieces.
With the Kids
The Infinite by Patience Agbabi, see above.
Current Project – Novel and Flash Fiction Collection
My novel is nearing the climax. Each character’s path has intensified and taken on layer upon layer that I look forward to pulling apart in revision throughout 2022.
The Flash Fiction Collection has begun its third round of drafts, typed this time. It’s a relief to move away from the labour that is handwritten work, but I’m grateful I challenged myself to do it as I can enter the type-up phase with a deeper perspective of each character.
Since they only get 500 words to conquer their problem, I need to know who they are clearly enough that their perspectives come through in as few words as possible.
Which do you enjoy more? Handwriting or typing? Do you use a mix of both like this?
Leave your answers and thoughts below. I respond to each and every comment here on my website. Otherwise, pop over to the contact page and send me an email, I love to hear from readers and writers of all kinds.
Even the otherworldly ones.
For now, remember to:
Explore, create, repeat-
© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner
If you enjoy the author’s work, please consider supporting via ko-fi.
The Infinite sounds like a book everyone should have in their library. The other books sound great, too. I prefer handwriting. I see it as artistic…and I have better spelling compared to typing.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I agree! Let me know if you do read any of them, I’d love to hear your thoughts. There can’t ever be too much diversity on our shelves. As for handwriting, I find the same thing with both creativity and spelling. I feel handwriting is more closely connected to our instinctual creativity, it feels more natural, primal. Artistic is a wonderful way to describe it!
LikeLiked by 1 person