Mark Haddon and Aspergers
There may be a whale in Moby Dick, but Moby Dick is not a book about all whales or even whales as a concept. Moby Dick is about good and evil. Similarly I doubt that Curious Incident is a book about autism, and its protagonist is not meant to represent all autistic children. I didn’t think Mark Haddon’s book was at all one of the best books recently written and I agree that it is sort of gimmicky, but I have a problem when people read a work of fiction with a certain type of character and say “oh I’m “X” too, but this doesn’t represent me,” or “character “X” does something stereotypical and it offends me.” This is something I’ve seen a lot of recently with glbt representations on TV. Does Kurt Hummel represent all gay teenagers and do the writers have a duty to always put him in a positive light? No of course not, he’s just a character in a teen drama.
I think the larger question we should be asking is what is Mark Haddon’s book really about? Therein lies the problem. I found Curious Incident to be unfocused. I wasn’t sure what the author wanted to get across. I think it’s much more productive to criticize Curious Incident from its failings as a piece of fiction than to criticize it for not depicting aspies correctly.