I Have Been Buried under Years of Dust: A Memoir of Autism and Hope

Morrow. Apr. 2021. 240p. ISBN 9780062984340. $25.99. MEMOIR
In this debut, Valerie Gilpeer writes a compelling narrative of motherhood, and her daughter, Emily Grodin, offers insight into how she began to express herself late in life, having been born with nonverbal autism. Gilpeer writes candidly, without falling into self-pity, and her early chapters offer personal reflections as well as resources for families affected by autism. Insight into the authors’ lives becomes clearer midway through, when Gilpeer becomes more involved in disability activism. In alternating chapters, she effectively describes the difficulties she faced securing Emily’s care, from institutional hurdles within the educational system to marital discord and social isolation. Perhaps the most moving part of the book is when Gilpeer recalls seeing her daughter type her thoughts for the first time. The sections Grodin contributed are engaging; she focuses on her successes and her determination to change perceptions around ASD in order to improve the lives of others.
VERDICT In the epilogue, Grodin writes, “I am with you.” And now, because of this book, she is with all of us. An impactful memoir of self-discovery.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing