The above is a paragraph from a letter to be forwarded to UK MPs encouraging them to join an All Party Parliamentary Group dealing with Down's syndrome.
Crime fiction books can consider many subjects from the past, such as rise of the Nazis, or comment on many of the social issues of the present such as immigration. But I believe authors have a responsibility when dealing with sensitive subjects to write with absolute clarity. The book I finished a few days ago written by a charming very popular author, who is obviously a nice person [which is why I will not be naming the book] singularly failed to match up to those standards.
I did not enjoy the book, which turned out to be more fantasy, parable and allegory, than police procedural, but finished it because of certain comments about a doctor, who worked with Down's syndrome people in a community.
The words "treatment" and "cure" were used [inappropriate because Down's syndrome is not a disease] and we were told by one of the characters that the people were "damaged". We were then informed that because the doctor had ended his research, lived in this community, and written a book about it, that he was a "saint".
All very dramatic but it made that community sound like a leper colony.
The author probably had very good intentions, but they were lost somewhere along the line.
At the end of the book an old wild knackered horse, that was destined for the abattoir, was sent to the community.
In my mind, perhaps wrongly, the patronizing impression given was that while this community was a place of love it was also for the "damaged".
I might be oversensitive, but then a book that within a few pages discusses Albert Speer, Charlotte Bronte, and Bohuslav Martinu, is bound to short circuit my poor old brain.