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Amy Lee Lillard

This is a book that bares both teeth and soul. A bold and unabashed call to name our stories and ourselves, to take off the masks we’ve been taught to wear and live without shame. A book for the weird women—the queer women, the disabled women, the childfree and witchy women, who resist and refuse the narratives they’re given about what their bodies should be, who write their own stories, and who claim a new language for their lives.

Melissa Faliveno,

author of Tomboyland

At the age of forty-three, after discovering she was autistic, Amy Lee Lillard learned she was part of a community of unseen women who fell through the gaps due to medical bias and social stereotypes. And she learned that her brash and trashy family of women, purveyors of dirty jokes, dirty pictures, and dirty shame, may have broken under the weight of invisible disability.


A Grotesque Animal explores the making, unmaking, and making again of a woman with invisible and unknown disability. Essays examine how a working-class background and a deep-rooted Midwest culture of silence led to hiding in plain sight for decades. And Lillard uncovers what it means to be a disabled slut, a queer aging woman, a descendent of wild but tamed mothers, and a survivor of the things patriarchy does.

Coming in 2024 from University of Iowa Press!

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