Author David Mitchell Co-Translates 'Autism Memoir' By 13 Year Old Japanese Boy

Author David Mitchell Co-Translates 'Autism Memoir'

Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell and his wife Keiko Yoshida recently finished translating a famous Japanese book written by a thirteen year-old autistic child, the Independent reports.

Titled The Reason I Jump, author Naoki Higishida wrote the book to give readers a true grasp of autism’s realities. The Independent goes into detail how Higishida, now a motivational speaker and author of multiple books, crafted his story:

Despite a very low verbal fluency, the young Naoki used an alphabet grid to painstakingly spell out his answers to the questions he imagined others most often wonder about him: ‘Why do you talk so loud? Is it true you hate being touched? Would you like to be normal?’

Sceptre, the English-translated book’s publisher, compares the work to Jean-Dominique Bauby’s The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly, which offers a glimpse into the complexities of locked-in syndrome. They feel The Reason I Jump will dispel certain myths about autism:

Naoki examines issues as diverse and complex as self-harm, perceptions of time and beauty, and the challenges of communication, and in doing so, discredits the popular belief that autistic people are anti-social loners who lack empathy. This book is mesmerising proof that inside an autistic body is a mind as subtle, curious, and caring as anyone else's.

The project was a personal endeavor for Mitchell and Yoshida, who have a son with autism. Their translated text is set to hit bookshelves in July.

Sounds fascinating, no? Who here plans to pick this one up?

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Rósa Grímsdóttir's picture
Rósa Grímsdóttir March 1, 2013 - 2:04pm

Fantastic news.  I love the fact that people have started to be more open about autism and what it really is.  There are too many myths about it.