An astounding new work by the author of The Mind Tree that offers a rare insight into the autistic mind and how it thinks, sees, and reacts to the world. When he was three years old, Tito was diagnosed as severely autistic, but his remarkable mother, Soma, determined that he would overcome the “problem” by teaching him to read and write. The result was that between the ages of eight and eleven he wrote stories and poems of exquisite beauty, which Dr. Oliver Sacks called “amazing and shocking.” Their eloquence gave lie to all our assumptions about autism. Here Tito goes even further and writes of how the autistic mind works, how it views the outside world and the “normal” people he deals with daily, how he tells his stories to the mirror and hears stories back, how sounds become colors, how beauty fills his mind and heart. With this work, Tito—whom Portia Iversen, co-founder of Cure Autism Now, has described as “a window into autism such as the world has never seen”—gives the world a beacon of hope. For if he can do it, why can’t others? “Brave, bold, and deeply felt, this book shows that much we might have believed about autism can be wrong.”—Boston Globe
In short chapters, some including evocative prose poems, Mukhopadhyay, a severely autistic adolescent whose mother painstakingly taught him how to read and write, introduces the reader to his daily inner life. Sometimes his thoughts are compulsive he misses an entire film while mentally drawing diagonals across every one of the design squares on the cinema's ceiling and sometimes fragmented, as when looking at a bucket: "I might easily get distracted by its redness, since it would remind me of how my hands bled when I had fallen from a swing, how I was so absorbed in that red that I had forgotten about my pain, and how that red resembled a hibiscus...." Mukhopadhyay reflects on autism without romanticizing it, acknowledging "my physical and neurological limitations" and declaring, "I am not worried about hell because I have experienced it here on earth." Occasionally, his writing is somewhat sketchy, but for the most part this is an eye-opening book on a serious disorder and the hope that other autistic children can learn to transcend it through education and imaginative self-reflection.