“A success story . . . proof that one can rise above the disease and defy its so-called limitations on the brain.”—Daily Beast
Despite winning the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2008, Philip Schultz could never shake the feeling of being exiled to the "dummy class" in school, where he was largely ignored by his teachers and peers and not expected to succeed. Not until many years later, when his oldest son was diagnosed with dyslexia, did Schultz realize that he suffered from the same condition.
In his moving memoir, Schultz traces his difficult childhood and his new understanding of his early years. In doing so, he shows how a boy who did not learn to read until he was eleven went on to become a prize-winning poet by sheer force of determination. His balancing act—life as a member of a family with not one but two dyslexics, countered by his intellectual and creative successes as a writer—reveals an inspiring story of the strengths of the human mind.
"Art's power of persuasion resides in the small personal details of one's own story, and if it weren't for my struggle with dyslexia, I doubt I'd ever have become a writer or known how to teach others to write." In this touching memoir, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Schultz (Failure) tackles his struggle with dyslexia a condition he only learned he had when his son was diagnosed. Schultz paints a precise and compelling picture of how his brain works, how he sees himself, and how he thinks others have seen him throughout his life. As an adult, he finally recognized his own worth: "Perhaps I was someone whom others could admire, someone more than a permanent member of the Dummy Class?" From its impact on family members, to difficulties in school that may or may not be resolved with diagnosis, to its effect on social interactions and relationships, Schultz describes how dyslexia touches all areas of life. His affecting prose will inspire compassion and leave readers with an understanding not only of dyslexia, but of the lifelong challenges that someone with disabilities may face.