Novelist David Mitchell on His Son’s Autism

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In an essay for The Guardian, David Mitchell (author of the novels Cloud Atlas and Black Swan Green, among others) provides a moving and honest account of the experience of raising a son with autism.

While the diagnosis came as a shock—and gave way to more difficulties and struggles than he’d imagined—Mitchell writes that he has learned to recognize “its own singular beauty, its own life-enriching experiences.”

The post also includes an excerpt from The Reason I Jump, a book written by Naoki Higashida (a thirteen-year-old Japanese boy with autism) and translated by Mitchell and his wife. The excerpt is educational and intimate in tone as Higashida attempts to debunk some of the myths about autistic behavior.

Both pieces are worth a read, each allowing further insight into one of society’s most misunderstood phenomena.


Paolo Yumol is an intern at The Rumpus. He attends Oberlin College and is very grateful to be doing any of this. More from this author →