If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that neurodiversity is on my mind lately, particularly in how it relates to my own identity as an author, reader and general human.
Neurodiversity refers to people whose minds work in ways labeled as outside of the norm. It is strongly linked to conversations about people with autism, but also includes people with other differences such as dyslexia, Tourette’s syndrome, and ADD, among many others.
It is only within the last few weeks, as I wrapped up a young adult science fiction novel and started sharing it with publishing gatekeepers for consideration (agents, editors) that I started to piece together something that maybe should have been obvious: it is rare for a protagonist in fiction to have a learning disorder. (Like me, the heroine of this novel has ADD.)
Which is where Anne of Green Gables comes in. I adored this character growing up and rabidly consumed all eight novels in this series. It wasn’t until later in high school, after I was diagnosed, that I fully understood why—Anne had many of the same struggles that I had. Ones that were specific to ADD. To see so much of myself--parts of myself that most people couldn't understand--was cathartic.
For more about why this matters and the ways in which Anne of Green Gables displays ADD tendencies, read the full article.