Born On a Blue Day
By Daniel Tammet
A fascinating and touching memoir from real-life Rain Man, Daniel Tammet, who has the extremely rare condition Savant Syndrome
'I was born on 31 January 1979 - a Wednesday. I know it was a Wednesday, becasue the date is blue in my mind and Wednesdays are always blue, like the number nine or the sound of loud voices arguing.'
Like the character Hoffman portrayed, he can perform extraordinary maths in his head, sees numbers as shapes, colours, textures and motions, and can learn to speak a language fluently from scratch in three days. He also has a compulsive need for order and routine. He eats exactly 45 grams of porridge for breakfast and cannot leave the house without counting the number of items of clothing he's wearing. If he gets stressed or unhappy he closes his eyes and counts.
But in some ways Daniel is not all like the Rain Man. He is virtually unique amongst people who have severe autisitic disorders in being capable of living a fully-functioning, independent life. It is this incredible self-awareness and ability to communicate what it feels like to live in a totally extraordinary way that makes BORN ON A BLUE DAY so powerful.
Daniel Tammet has been working with scientists to understand the implications of his condition for neuroscience and our understanding of consciousness. He also runs a web-based diagnostic site for people with autism and lives in Kent with his partner.
- Other details
- Publication date:
22 Feb 2007
- Page count:
'A memoir of outstanding lucidity and charm' — The Sunday Times
'You close BORN ON A BLUE DAY with a sense of profound admiration' — The Daily Mail
'A charmingly precise, tenderly honest account' — The Daily Express
'Remarkable' — Independent on Sunday
'Admirably modest but affecting autobiography by a man blessed with incredible mental gifts but struggling with Asperger's' — The Sunday Times - top choice of books 'you really must read'
'So elegantly written... he tells his story dead straight' — Daily Telegraph
'In BORN ON A BLUE DAY, both his difficulties and his awakening consciousness of himself and others are charted. The miracle is that he wrote it himself. It has a strange, quiet beauty' — Scotland on Sunday
'Tammet's writing is eloquent and moving but always uncomplicated. And he succeeds in stripping away much of the misunderstanding and confusion that surrounds the unusual way autistic savants view the world' — Radio Times