Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8

A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism

Publisher: Knopf Canada
A follow-up to its bestselling predecessor, The Reason I Jump opens an extraordinary, rare window into the mind and world of an autistic, non-verbal person--now coping with a young man's life.

Naoki Higashida wrote The Reason I Jump as a 13-year-old boy with severe autism, giving us all insight into a world never before open to us. Now he shares his thoughts and experiences as a 24-year-old. Based on his hugely succesful blogs in Japan, he gives us, in short powerful chapters, his moving, beautiful insights into life, identity, education, his family, our society, and personal growth. He allows readers to experience profound moments we take for granted, like the thought-steps necessary for him to register that it's raining outside. Introduced by award-winning author David Mitchell (co-translator with his wife KA Yoshida), this book is part memoir, part critique of a world that sees disabilities ahead of the individual, part self-portrait-in-progress of a young man who happens to have autism and wants to help us understand his world better.

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PRAISE FOR THE REASON I JUMP:

#1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER


“Higashida’s questions are basic but burning—eliciting exactly the sort of information an autistic parent would be most anxious to know. . . . His vision of the world through autism is filled with loneliness, fear and despair, but also moments of excitement and of dazzling beauty.” —Leah McLaren

“It helped me so much, and profoundly altered the way I viewed my son.” —David Mitchell

“I was hooked after a paragraph.” —Diane Keaton

“It is the most illuminating book I have ever read on the syndrome [of autism] and on the individual. . . . I don’t normally urge you—The Reason I Jump is on bookshelves. Please, if you get a chance, please pick it up. It is remarkable.” —Jon Stewart

“­Brave, smart and sometimes quirky, [The Reason I Jump] is a mix of stories, reflections and questions-and-answers about life in that alternate reality of autism.” —Toronto Star

“At the time of its writing, Higashida was almost entirely nonverbal; he composed the text by spelling out words with the aid of a printed table of forty basic Japanese characters. This intensive labor alone makes the text a remarkable achievement, but The Reason I Jump is more than just an object of curiosity. . . . Higashida has a clear and compelling voice, and the book itself is beautifully produced. Striking black-and-white images of birds, leaves, and plants run throughout the text and adorn its cover. . . . Higashida has managed to create an important, textured testament to his experience of the world. . . . The Reason I Jump also suggests that we may have to go beyond conventional forms of textual representation to convey the full spectrum of human experience. Higashida’s explanatory prose is enlightening, but The Reason I Jump would be colossally impoverished without the accompanying images and short stories—forms that, while perhaps less immediately legible to some readers, may more directly express Higashida’s world. . . . In essence, one of the reasons Higashida may be so successful in writing about his particular way of being in the world is that he is constantly made aware of how it differs from the majority of those who surround him. . . . Through Higashida’s eyes, beauty, memory, nature, and the passage of time all look suddenly, strikingly different, a contribution he makes both despite and because of his clearly evident struggles. . . . [R]eaders of The Reason I Jump will undoubtedly come away with a newly complicated sense of Higashida’s world, a fuller appreciation of the power of writing, and a more capacious understanding of the human experience.” —Whitney Laemmli, Somatosphere

The definitive account of living with autism.” —Daily Express

“Higashida’s child’s-eye view of autism is as much a winsome work of the imagination as it is a user’s manual for parents, carers and teachers. . . . This book gives us autism from the inside, as we have never seen it.... Its explanation, advice and, most poignantly, its guilt . . . offers readers eloquent access into an almost entirely unknown world. . . . Descriptions of panic, distress and the isolation that autistic children feel as a result of the greater world’s ignorance of their condition are counterbalanced by the most astonishing glimpses of autism’s exhilaration. These are the most vivid and mesmerising moments of the book.” —The Independent 

The Reason I Jump pushes beyond the notion of autism as a disability, and reveals it as simply a different way of being, and of seeing. Naoki Higashida shines a light on the autistic landscape from the inside.” —BBC 

“A thirteen-year-old Japanese author illuminates his autism from within, making a connection with those who find the condition frustrating, mysterious or impenetrable. For the renowned novelist David Mitchell, who provides the introduction and collaborated on the translation, this book is ‘a revelatory godsend.’ . . . [Higashida] shows remarkable empathy and imagination. . . . Anyone struggling to understand autism will be grateful for the book and translation.” —Kirkus Reviews

“[T]his incredible book . . . shatters many preconceptions people may have regarding those with autism.” —The Japan Times

Every writer aspires to write like this. Higashida has grown to see autism as one of his strengths, ‘preferring to be autistic versus normal.’ Reading The Reason I Jump, one is hard put to argue otherwise.” —Sangitha Krishnamurthi, The Hindu Business Line

This . . . will be invaluable to anyone who has struggled to comprehend the actions of someone with autism. This book may also give you a different perspective on autistic patients or loved ones, revealing complex, self-reflective thought processes where you and I might previously have assumed there were none. . . . The author’s ultimate hope is that even if autism cannot be cured, people with autism can build a greater connection with the rest of the world. This book is an important step in that process.” —Christine Contillo, Working Nurse

“This book is a wonderful testament to what can be unveiled if the communication difficulties are alleviated to allow personality, emotion, curiosity, thoughts and desires to be revealed. Under those curious behaviors of autism there lies a completely unique and wonderful human being, and that is something everyone should be made aware of.” —Liz Becker, Autism Daily Newscast

“The most remarkable aspect of this book is the self-awareness that Naoki demonstrates on almost every page. . . . The perspective he provides into the world of autism is incredible, but it’s his self-awareness of how others see him that gives the reader a greater sense of understanding. . . . The Reason I Jump gives the reader an opportunity to see a world that would otherwise be invisible and expands our understanding of that world, and you can’t ask for anything more from a piece of literature. Do yourself a favor and read this book.” —Aspen Daily News

The Reason I Jump
reads effortlessly, each page challenging preconceptions that autistic people lack empathy, humour or imagination. . . . Through [Higashida] I have glimpsed a tiny corner of their world, and for that—however vicarious, however bitter-sweet—I jump for joy.” —Emma Claire Sweeney, The Independent on Sunday

“This book takes about ninety minutes to read, and it will stretch your vision of what it is to be human.” —Andrew Solomon, The Times