LITERATURE

Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8: A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism

Random. Jul. 2017. 240p. tr. from Japanese by KA Yoshida & David Mitchell. illus. ISBN 9780812997392. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780812997408. MEMOIR
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As in his previous memoir, The Reason I Jump, Higashida, a "severely autistic" young Japanese man, spends a good deal of time speculating about what autism is, or why it is. He proposes that people with autism were "brought into being" because of some sort of "imbalance in this world." There is tremendous variance in the manifestation of symptoms of this disorder. Thus, some people, like Higashida, are almost completely nonverbal, while others have logorrhea (excessive talking), to give just one example of two extremes. At times, Higashida seems to presume he can speak for all people with autism, which is foolish and misleading. That said, this book, like his earlier work, provides many moments of genuine insight into his own experience.
VERDICT Recommended with reservations for readers who enjoyed The Reason I Jump or those seeking deeper insight into one man's distinctive struggle. [See Prepub Alert, 2/16/17.]

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