• Kathryn Allen

Gems Rediscovered

Recently I rediscovered a couple of non-fiction gems. I'm not a big reader of non-fiction as I find I get plenty of reality in my day to day life but these two books are ones that had a real impact on me when I first read them.

One is the exceptional 'Like Color to the Blind' by Donna Williams published in 1996. It is her story of navigating the world and an intimate relationship with the complex lens of autism. The day to day barriers the condition brought to her life sound exhausting but she is resilient and eager to be an 'anybody anywhere' where she can just be. It's an intriguing look at how different autism is for different people and what it meant for her to be finally able to understand herself and her wants rather than sticking with patterns of behaviour she had learned over time.

The other is 'Ghost Wife' by Michelle Dicinoski published in 2013. Michelle's story is of meeting her love and having the ability to be married stymied by ignorance and discrimination in Australia. It's a sweet love story made so frustrating by their situation. They ended up getting married in Canada and coming back to an Australia that still didn't recognise their official relationship.

Both books are fundamentally about people just wanting to be themselves in the world and having hurdles to deal with that many of us don't ever experience. I highly recommend them.

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