Bluebird is publishing the memoir of an autistic woman called Odd Girl Out to coincide with Autism Awareness Month and Mental Health Awareness Week in April 2017.
Claiming it as the first memoir by a British woman with autism to be published by a UK mainstream publisher, Bluebird promise a book that will offer "an extraordinary glimpse into the autistic mind", with author James likening her autism to having a "'different operating system', as if she is a Mac in a PC world".
Odd Girl Out: Happily Autistic in a Neurotypical World by journalist Laura James was acquired by Pan Macmillan’s Carole Tonkinson, who bought world rights through Rosemary Scoular at United Agents.
James' story talks about feeling "different" and "struggling to cope with a world that often made no sense to her" despite outward appearances, including holding down jobs and having children, until last year a nurse recognised her autism after observing a "classic autistic melt down" in hospital.
The book, recognising girls with autism are three time more likely than boys to "fall under the radar", seeks to address what James believes is society's "stereotypical view of what autism is" and, through sharing her experiences, looks at "what it means to be a neurodiverse female in the 21st century".
Tonkinson said Bluebird was "deeply impressed" with James' writing "and her presence and charisma in person".
"I can’t imagine a more eloquent advocate for autism," Tonkinson added. "I think her book will become a classic, offering fresh understanding of the female experience of autism in particular.”
Bluebird will publish in paperback in April 2017.