Strong Female Character

The Sunday Times Bestseller

    • 4.7 • 67 Ratings
    • £8.99
    • £8.99

Publisher Description


'An absolute riot. I'm literally going to read it again once I've finished, and I'm a miserable's a belter'

'A set text for all of us in 2023' - DEBORAH FRANCES-WHITE

A summary of my book:

1. I'm diagnosed with autism 20 years after telling a doctor I had it.

2. My terrible Catholic childhood: I hate my parents etc.

3. My friendship with an elderly man who runs the corner shop and is definitely not trying to groom me. I get groomed.

4. Homelessness.

5. Stripping.

6. More stripping but with more nervous breakdowns.

7. I hate everyone at uni and live with a psycho etc.

8. REDACTED as too spicy.

9. After everyone tells me I don't look autistic, I try to cure my autism and get addicted to Xanax.

10. REDACTED as too embarrassing.

'Fern's book, like everything she does, is awesome. Incredibly funny, and so unapologetically frank that I feel genuinely sorry for her lawyers.' - PHIL WANG

'Of course it's funny - it's Fern Brady - but this book is also deeply moving and eye-opening'

'It made me laugh out loud and broke my heart and made me weep...I hope absolutely everyone reads this, and it makes them kinder and more curious about the way we all live' - DAISY BUCHANAN

'Glorious. Frank but nuanced, a memoir that doesn't sacrifice voice or self-awareness. And it has brilliant things to say about being autistic and being funny' - ELLE MCNICOLL

'Strong Female Character is a testament to the importance of self-knowledge.' - Rachael Healy, The Guardian

'Fern is a brilliant, beautiful writer with a unique voice and even more unique story. Astute, honest and very, very funny.' - LOU SANDERS

'So funny and brilliant' - HOLLY SMALE

'Witty, dry, and gimlet-eyed, Strong Female Character is a necessary corrective. Brady offers a compelling, messy, highly resonant portrait of what masked Autism feels like.' - Devon Price, author of Unmasking Autism

16 February

Customer Reviews

n11cky11 ,


Absolutely brilliant- I couldn’t put it down. Honest, hilarious and heartbreaking.

Ljk30 ,

This is me

I loved the book. Fern is hilarious, brilliant and has persuaded me it’s time to get a diagnosis

MsJayTee ,

Favourite book I’ve read in ages

In the last few years there have been several books from autistic people, either memoirs or essay collections and most don't appeal to me either because it's from a man, an American or a Tory voter. No offence to men or Americans, your experiences just don't resonate with me. Tory voters feel free to take offence.

I had read books by late diagnosed women but this was the first time I had the opportunity to read something from a fellow Scottish woman. And it was one of the best books I've ever read. I'm giving it fire stars. I wish I could give it six.

There are several reasons this book is so good. Fern is searingly honest, she does discuss that autistic people are naturally honest, often to our own detriment. But this is next level honesty, she absolutely lays herself bare on the page. While I admire it, you couldn't waterboard this kind of honesty from me.

Fern is an incredible storyteller, very funny and relatable. I understood a lot of what she was talking about because I've felt that way, but I think Fern explains what it's like to be autistic better than anyone I've ever heard.

She will explain the way she feels and then gives an academic explanation. I now know I don't get very many meltdowns: long walls are helpful. She also adds examples where her privilege stopped things from being much worse.

Outside of fern being autistic, the book is a seriously funny look at working class life in Scotland.

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