Nuanced Thinkers Rocked 2021

Bring it on, 2022.

Jenara Nerenberg
5 min readDec 15, 2021


In 2020 I published a list of the neurodivergent thinkers whose books rocked that year. As I fear that not only has “neurodiversity” recently gone astray, but so has most nuanced discourse about the particulars of human life, I hereby present to you an entirely different kind of list, which, coincidentally, is probably far more in line with “neurodiversity” than the term now implies. Without further ado, in no particular order:

Sheena Mason

Sheena advocates for a Theory of Racelessness — because race is not a real biological thing and is an artificial construct, she suggests we do away with the categories in order to avoid entrenching them even deeper. Her argument goes further in saying that because race isn’t real, even “racism” (which in effect is very real) cannot stand on anything solid and her approach is to dissolve the idea of race in order to help folks dissolve racist thinking. It’s not color blindness, make no mistake. It’s nuanced. And reminds me a lot of how I approach neurodiversity (“neurological diversity”) and psychiatric categorizations.

Meghan Daum & The Unspeakable Podcast

Meghan is a prolific writer and podcast host and isn’t afraid to push back on the hashtag movements that dominate today, narratives that oversimplify complex issues. She is the reigning champion of nuance and I recommend her podcast, which features dissenting views.

Briahna Joy Gray

Briahna is Bernie Sanders’ former press secretary and a gracious podcast host, handling wide-ranging views amongst guests but wholeheartedly engaging in good faith. It’s like the opposite of Twitter.

Batya Ungar-Sargon

Batya is a veteran journalist and former academic and has focused on class issues as a way to sort through our modern discourse around privilege — her perspective is sorely needed and her brand new book is out now.



Jenara Nerenberg

Author, Divergent Mind (HarperCollins). Journalist at UC Berkeley & Garrison. Founder, The Neurodiversity Project.