If you’re like most readers, you’ve encountered the 1 in 50 of our peers who were born with developmental disabilities on the page—whether you know it not. Maybe it was the bumbling Lennie of Of Mice and Men, the inspiring Chris of A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Maybe it was the subject of an IEP or the DSM-V.
If you’re like most readers, it’s also rarely—quite possibly never!—been the case that those representations are penned by people with disabilities like Down syndrome, autism, or what was once known as “mental retardation” themselves. Maybe the families and staff who work to help people with disabilities live their fullest lives think they can’t do it, or don’t want to. Maybe they’ve never asked.
Cow Tipping asks, and our authors answer with such diversity, humor, poignance, divergence and experimentation that our titles are just a glimpse of what we’re all missing out on when we don’t reimagine what inclusion can look like. The Cow Tipping collection isn’t just content from an underrepresented group that’s virtually never shown up on our coffee and bedside tables, bookshelves and syllabi (though it is!); it’s also testament that neurodivergent authors— folks who are often working for less than minimum wage in the fields of “food, filing, and filth”—can naturally accomplish what many MFAs are spending tens of thousands on dollars to train their brains to do. A game-changer for how we think about disability.