Representation of Women with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Novels by Helen Hoang


VARGOVÁ Veronika

Year of publication 2022
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description While several novels with autism spectrum disorder representation were published over the past decade, they are mostly intended for children and young adults. In 2018, The Kiss Quotient written by Helen Hoang was published. It is one of the first - if not the first - contemporary romance novel with an on-page adult character on the autism spectrum. The novel was immediately praised for its authentic representation of the autism spectrum and Hoang has quickly become one of the most popular contemporary romance authors. Her novels are known mainly for having a protagonist who is on the autism spectrum and characters of Vietnamese origin. This paper will discuss Hoang’s two female protagonists – Stella and Anna - from her first and third novels, The Kiss Quotient and The Heart Principle. In particular, this paper aims to present the concept of masking, a specific form of behaviour adopted by people on the autism spectrum, especially women. Masking is one of the main issues in both novels and it has a significant impact on Stella’s and Anna’s lives. As these are romance novels, romantic relationship is at the forefront of the story. This paper will discuss how the protagonist’s ASD diagnosis impacts their daily lives, romantic relationships, and relationships with family and friends.
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