My strengths come from the same place as my weaknesses

“I am dyslexic. I am also a writer with a PhD in English literature. Contrary to popular perception, these things are not incompatible. People are often surprised to hear this. Most assume that all dyslexics are aspiring architects, artists or entrepreneurs, not writers having to deal with the messy business of words as the tools of their trade.

When I completed my doctorate in English literature at Oxford University in 2002, I was the only dyslexic person to have achieved this as far as I knew. I swung between feeling like a proud pioneer and an isolated freak. I had not encountered other dyslexic graduates during my research, and I had come across some very old-fashioned attitudes towards dyslexia. I had overheard senior figures in the university asserting that there are no dyslexics at Oxford.”

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