What novels have you read, recently or in a long-ago English class, that involve characters with Down syndrome or other intellectual disabilities? I’ve been thinking for a long time about the way people with IDD are portrayed in literature. I’m inclined to say they aren’t always (usually) fully human, with a range of emotions and possibilities. And yet they are often used within a story to demonstrate the sicknesses within our society.
I suspect I’ll have more to say about this topic at some point, but for now, I’m wondering if there are books I should add to my list. Here’s what I have so far:
- The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
- The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O’Connor
- Child’s Play by Alice Munro
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
What novels (for adults) with characters with intellectual disabilities would you add to this list?
More with Amy Julia:
- Two Picture Books (for Everyone) With Characters With Down Syndrome
- TIME | Where Are All the Children’s Books Featuring Kids With Down Syndrome?
- Main Characters With Intellectual Disabilities in Chapter Books
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