Strong Female Character, Fern Brady


March 2023

I don’t watch cult comedy show Taskmaster and hadn’t heard of Fern Brady, best known for her stand up, until listening to her on the brilliant You’re Booked podcast. 37-year-old Brady’s memoir is about her upbringing in Scotland - including being kicked out of home, residential stays in mental health clinics and sex work, as well as winning a place to incredibly posh Edinburgh University and finding fame as a comedian.

Along the way - though it takes until well into adulthood - Brady discovers she is neurodivergent, a diagnosis that explains many of her difficult experiences growing up. Through her own diagnosis, she looks at why girls and women have historically been ignored by the autistic spectrum, or met with treatment for a range of mental health conditions they appeared to present with to mask the autism.

Fern is a generous and open writer, with deadpan delivery and plenty of humour amid her many years of trauma thanks to misdiagnosis and a lack of understanding. It’s almost like the medical profession doesn’t care about properly serving women and girls.

I listened to Strong Female Character via Audible, which I highly recommend as Fern narrates her own book and has a brilliant voice