From the author of the bestselling The Reason I Jump, an extraordinary self-portrait of life as a young adult with autism
Naoki Higashida was only thirteen when he wrote The Reason I Jump, a revelatory account of autism from the inside by a nonverbal Japanese child, which became an international success.
Now he shares his thoughts and experiences as a twenty-four-year-old man living each day with severe autism. In short, powerful chapters, Higashida explores school memories, family relationships, the exhilaration of travel, and the difficulties of speech. He also allows readers to experience profound moments we take for granted, like the thought-steps necessary for him to register that it’s raining outside. Acutely aware of how strange his behavior can appear to others, he aims throughout to foster a better understanding of autism and to encourage society to see people with disabilities as people, not as problems.
With an introduction by bestselling novelist David Mitchell, Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8 also includes a dreamlike short story Higashida wrote especially for this edition. Both moving and of practical use, this book opens a window into the mind of an inspiring young man who meets every challenge with tenacity and good humor. However often he falls down, he always gets back up.
Praise for Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8
“[Naoki Higashida’s] success as a writer now transcends his diagnosis. . . . His relative isolation—with words as his primary connection to the outside world—has allowed him to fully develop the powers of observation that are necessary for good writing, and he has developed rich, deep perspectives on ideas that many take for granted. . . . The diversity of Higashida’s writing, in both subject and style, fits together like a jigsaw puzzle of life put in place with humor and thoughtfulness.”—The Japan Times
“Profound insights about what the struggle of living with autism is really like . . . Once again, the invitation to step inside Higashida’s mind is irresistible.”—London Evening Standard
“Naoki Higashida’s lyrical and heartfelt account of his condition is a gift to anyone involved with the same challenges. . . . Higashida shows a delicate regard for the difficulties his condition creates . . . and is adept at explaining his experiences in language that makes sense to neurotypicals.”—The Guardian
“Wise and witty, [Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8] offers a second insider’s insight into the mysteries of non-verbal autism—but this time from the vantage point of a young adult. . . . Moving . . . Higashida’s reflections are at times refreshingly hard-nosed [and] his self-awareness is uplifting.”—Financial Times
“[Naoki Higashida’s] thoughtful, syntactically complex writing puts the lie to the already dubious characterization of such individuals as ‘low-functioning.’”—Toronto Star