I was flipping through a book and found a list of famous people who suffered from dyslexia, a variable often familial learning disability involving difficulties in acquiring and processing language that is typically manifested by a lack of proficiency in reading, spelling, and writing (from Merriam-Webster). It made me curious about authors who may suffer from this condition and after a little investigating I was surprised at the authors I found on this list. Let’s see if you are too.
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1. “The diagnosis of dyslexia wasn’t available in the late fifties -bad spelling like mine was considered a psychological problem by the language therapist who evaluated my mysterious case. When the repeated courses of language therapy were judged to have had no discernible influence on me, I was turned over to the school psychiatrist.” said the man who created Owen Meany John Irving
2. The creator of Captain Underpants wasn’t held back by dyslexia and ADHD. Dav Pilkey
3. “Being slow made me pore over sentences and to be receptive to those qualities in sentences that were not just the cognitive aspect of sentences but were in fact the “poetical” aspects of language…those qualities in language are as likely to carry weight and hold meaning and give pleasure as the purely cognitive, though of course we can’t fundamentally separate those things, although the information age does its best.” said this Pulitzer Prize winner for Independence Day Richard Ford
4. Maybe the most well-known African-American woman science fiction author who died in 2006 at the age of 58. Octavia Butler
5. “The first book I wrote, most of the letters where backwards and much of it is horribly misspelled, but it didn’t stop me. Sometimes it pays to be too stubborn to listen to other people and in my case that was especially true.” said the author of the Dark-Hunter vampire series Sherrilyn Kenyon
6. This science fiction author of the Sword of Truth series has dyslexia and is really into Ayn Rand’s Objectivism (which is popular this political season). Terry Goodkind
7. “I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 12. In those days they thought that I was backward. I didn’t really feel at home with the written word until somebody gave me a typewriter. But, even today, I never send things out without having them checked by an assistant.” She has written a few books but more famously wrote the TV series Prime Suspect. Linda La Plante
8. (I) “was severely dyslexic and couldn’t spell, still can’t spell. So I was discouraged from writing and embarrassed”. It’s a good thing for the popularity of fried green tomatoes that she overcame her insecurities. Fannie Flagg
9. This one-name children/young-adult author won the 1991 Newbery Honor with his character Charlotte Doyle and in 1992 with Nothing but the Truth. He was awarded the Newbury Medal in 2003 for Crispin:The Cross of Lead. Avi
10. This is prolific Emmy winning writer/producer and bestselling author (8 books in the Shane Scully series) sums it up with this, that his real fear for “dyslexic people is not that they have to struggle with jumbled input or that they can’t spell but that they will quit on themselves before they get out of school.” He was also one of Castle’s poker buddies (on ABC’s Castle) and his chair remained empty at the table for a year after his death. Stephen Cannell