Aged 34, Fern Brady is diagnosed with Autism, but this comes as no surprise to her. Growing up working class in West Lothian, Scotland she is most definitely the odd one out in her family…and at school, university, and work.

A raw and sometimes outrageous memoir, in Strong Female Character Brady, looks back on a life shaped by the neurodiversity that went undetected by teachers and medical professionals alike, from the family holidays she ruined to her early sexual promiscuity, from the obsessive, self-inflicted grammar drills that won her a place to study languages at Edinburgh University, to working as a stripper to pay her way through her degree. 

Now a hugely successful stand-up comedian, Brady’s path to success has been anything but smooth. Unafraid to reveal the darker parts of herself most of us prefer to keep hidden, Brady’s self-awareness and candour regarding her struggles with poor mental health, addiction, poverty and homelessness are as moving to read as they are shocking. Taking her own experiences as a starting point, Strong Female Character offers a clear-eyed analysis of why women, especially those from working-class backgrounds are so routinely failed. But Brady’s dry and dark humour suffuses every page resulting in a memoir as hilarious as it is heart-breaking.

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Taskmaster fan-favourite Fern Brady is known for her caustic wit, exceptional writing and electric stagecraft. Her debut memoir Strong Female Character, released earlier this year, discusses everything from her Catholic upbringing, to homelessness, to her late diagnosis of autism and much more, is a Sunday Times Bestseller. As seen on The Russell Howard Hour, Live at the Apollo and Live from the BBC.

Photography © Aashfaria A. Anwar

‘A savagely funny, beautifully written and fearlessly honest book that is as inspiring as it is hilarious.’

2023 Non-Fiction judges

Ben Garrod

Sarfraz Manzoor

Helen Stanton

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