Synopses & Reviews
A remarkable memoir from the best-selling author of Friday Night Lights
and Three Nights in August
Buzz Bissingers twins were born three minutes—and a world—apart. Gerry, the older one, is a graduate student at Penn, preparing to become a teacher. His brother Zach has spent his life attending special schools. Hell never drive a car, or kiss a girl, or live by himself. He is a savant, challenged by serious intellectual deficits but also blessed with rare talents: an astonishing memory, a dazzling knack for navigation, and a reflexive honesty that can make him both socially awkward and surprisingly wise.
Buzz realized that while he had always been an attentive father, he didnt really understand what it was like to be Zach. So one summer night Buzz and Zach hit the road to revisit all the places they have lived together during Zachs twenty-four years. Zach revels in his memories, and Buzz hopes this journey into their shared past will bring them closer and reveal to him the mysterious workings of his sons mind and heart. The trip also becomes Buzz's personal journey, yielding revelations about his own parents, the price of ambition, and its effect on his twins.
As father and son journey from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, they see the best and worst of America and each other. Ultimately, Buzz gains a new and uplifting wisdom, realizing that Zachs worldview has a sturdy logic of its own: a logic that deserves the greatest respect. And with the help of Zachs twin, Gerry, Buzz learns an even more vital lesson about Zach: character transcends intellect. We come to see Zach as he truly is: patient, fearless, perceptive, kind—a man of excellent character.
When his son Rowan was diagnosed with autism, Rupert Isaacson was devastated, afraid he might never be able to communicate with his child. But when Isaacson, a lifelong horseman, rode their neighbor's horse with Rowan, Rowan improved immeasurably. He was struck with a idea: why not take Rowan to Mongolia, the one place in the world where horses and shamanic healing intersected?
When his son Rowan was diagnosed with autism, Rupert Isaacson was devastated, afraid he might never be able to communicate with his child.
A cutting-edge account of the latest science of autism, from the best-selling author and advocate
andldquo;The right brain has created the right book for right now.andrdquo;andmdash;Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Temple Grandin may be the most famous person with autism, a condition that affects 1 in 88 children. Since her birth in 1947, our understanding of it has undergone a great transformation, leading to more hope than ever before that we may finally learn the causes of and treatments for autism.
Weaving her own experience with remarkable new discoveries, Grandin introduces the advances in neuroimaging and genetic research that link brain science to behavior, even sharing her own brain scan to show which anomalies might explain common symptoms. Most excitingly, she argues that raising and educating kids on the autism spectrum must focus on their long-overlooked strengths to foster their unique contributions. The Autistic Brain brings Grandinandrsquo;s singular perspective into the heart of the autism revolution.
andquot;[Grandinandrsquo;s] most insightful work to date . . . The Autistic Brain is something anyone could benefit from reading, and I recommend it to anyone with a personal or professional connection to autism or neurological difference.andquot;andmdash;John Elder Robison, author of Look Me in the Eye
andquot;The Autistic Brain can both enlighten readers with little exposure to autism and offer hope and compassion to those who live with the condition.andquot;andmdash;Scientific American
The best-selling author of Friday Night Lights and 3 Nights in August journeys across country and into the psyche of his son and traveling companion, where he finds not only the remarkable skills and debilities known as savantism, but a host of qualities we should all emulate.
Buzz Bissingers twins were born three minutes—and a world—apart. Gerry, the older one, is a graduate student preparing to become a teacher. His brother Zach is a savant, challenged by serious intellectual deficits but also blessed with rare talents: an astonishing memory, a dazzling knack for navigation, and a reflexive honesty that can make him both socially awkward and surprisingly wise.
One summer, striving to understand the twenty-four-year-old son who remains, in many ways, a mystery, Buzz convinces Zach to join him on a cross-country road trip. As father and son drive from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, revisiting all the places they have lived together, Buzz learns to see the world through Zachs eyes. Father's Day is a powerful account of this journey, and a universal tale of the bond between parents and children.
About the Author
TEMPLE GRANDINandnbsp;is one of the worldand#8217;s most accomplished and well-known adults with autism. She is a professor at Colorado State University and the author of several best-selling books, which have sold more than a million copies. The HBO movie based on her life, starring Claire Danes, received seven Emmy Awards.
RICHARD PANEKandnbsp;is the prize-winning author of The 4% Universe and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Science Writing.
Table of Contents
Bon Voyage 17
Blue Box 34
Is That All There Is? 50
Failure to Forget 65
Embassy Suites! 79
Lost in Milwaukee 93
Cardinals and Cookies 107
Ill Do Anything 127
Scene of the Crime 134
Mom and Dad 162
Hollywood Blue 178
Viva Las Vegas! 190
Coming Into Los Angeles 200
Picture Perfect 210
Zach and Gerry 221
Reality Bites 227
Zachs Acknowledgments 240
Buzzs Acknowledgments 242
Authors Note 244