The Reason I Jump: one boy's voice from the silence of autism
By Naoki Higashida
The No. 1 Sunday Times and internationally bestselling account of life as an autistic child. 'Brilliant . . . both moving and strangely optimistic' (Daily Telegraph).
The No. 1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.
Written by Naoki Higashida when he was only thirteen, this remarkable book provides a rare insight into the often baffling behaviour of autistic children. Using a question and answer format, Naoki explains things like why he talks loudly or repeats the same questions, what causes him to have panic attacks, and why he likes to jump. He also shows the way he thinks and feels about his world - other people, nature, time and beauty, and himself. Abundantly proving that people with autism do possess imagination, humour and empathy, he also makes clear how badly they need our compassion, patience and understanding.
David Mitchell and his wife have translated Naoki's book so that it might help others dealing with autism and generally illuminate a little-understood condition. It gives us an exceptional chance to enter the mind of another and see the world from a strange and fascinating perspective.
The book also features eleven original illustrations, inspired by Naoki's words, by the artistic duo Kai and Sunny.
Naoki Higashida was born in Kimitsu, Japan in 1992. He was diagnosed with autism in 1998 and subsequently attended a school for students with special needs, then (by correspondence) Atmark Cosmopolitan High School, graduating in 2011. Having learnt to use a method of communication based on an alphabet grid, Naoki wrote The Reason I Jump when he was thirteen and it was published in Japan in 2007. He has published several books since, from autobiographical accounts about living with autism to fairy tales, poems and illustrated books, and writes a regular blog. Despite his communication challenges, he also gives presentations about life on the autistic spectrum throughout Japan and works to raise awareness about autism. In 2011 he appeared in director Gerry Wurzburg's documentary on the subject, Wretches & Jabberers.
David Mitchell is the author of the novels Ghostwritten, number9dream, Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. He has been shortlisted twice for the Man Booker Prize and won several awards for his writing. KA Yoshida was born in Yamaguchi, Japan, and specialised in English Poetry at Notre Dame Seishin University.
- Other details
- Publication date:
24 Apr 2014
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An extraordinary account of how autism feels from the inside. — Observer
The most remarkable book of the year. The book throws a pontoon bridge over the chasm dividing autistic and neuro-typical experience. — Charlotte Moore, Books of the Year 2013, Spectator
The Reason I Jump reads effortlessly, each page challenging preconceptions that autistic people lack empathy, humour or imagination. — Independent on Sunday
This is a wonderful book. I defy anyone not to be captivated, charmed and uplifted by it. But above all, you will never feel the same about autism again. — Evening Standard
The freshness of voice coexists with so much wisdom . . . it will stretch your vision of what it is to be human. — The Times
[The Reason I Jump] has been impossible to forget. — Ian Thomson, Books of the Year 2013, Evening Standard