Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Reason I Jump

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida, translated by KA Yoshida and David Mitchell, 135 pages

Naoki was diagnosed with autism at the age of five and wrote The Reason I Jump at 13. David Mitchell (author of Cloud Atlas) and his wife, KA Yoshida, worked to translate Naoki’s work and Mitchell includes an introduction how helpful he found the book as a parent to a child with autism. The book is structured as a series of questions posed to Naoki about why he behaves the way he does; questions range from "Why do you hum all the time?" to "Why do we have to ask you 50 times before you do something?"

The Reason I Jump was a quick read and provided insights and a point-of-view I'd not previously heard.  I had some issues with the fact that Naoki almost always uses first person plural pronouns to describe his experience, I'm sure that not every person with autism has feelings and experiences identical to his; but I can imagine what a welcome book this would be to readers who have a loved one with autism.

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