Biography & Memoir Books:

Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant

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Paperback / softback

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Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant by Daniel Tammet
$30.00
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Description

'I was born on 31 January 1979 - a Wednesday. I know it was a Wednesday, because the date is blue in my mind and Wednesdays are always blue, like the number nine or the sound of loud voices arguing.' Like the character Hoffman portrayed, he can perform extraordinary maths in his head, sees numbers as shapes, colours, textures and motions, and can learn to speak a language fluently from scratch in three days. He also has a compulsive need for order and routine. He eats exactly 45 grams of porridge for breakfast and cannot leave the house without counting the number of items of clothing he's wearing. If he gets stressed or unhappy he closes his eyes and counts. But in some ways Daniel is not all like the Rain Man. He is virtually unique amongst people who have severe autisitic disorders in being capable of living a fully-functioning, independent life. It is this incredible self-awareness and ability to communicate what it feels like to live in a totally extraordinary way that makes BORN ON A BLUE DAY so powerful.

Author Biography

Daniel Tammet has been working with scientists to understand the implications of his condition for neuroscience and our understanding of consciousness. He also runs a web-based diagnostic site for people with autism and lives in Kent with his partner.

Critical Reviews:

Kirkus Reviews
A riveting account of living with autism. Tammet, a 27-year-old Brit, is a highly functional autistic individual and something of a genius when it comes to numbers-he's a terrific chess player and knows over 22,000 digits of pi. Here, he chronicles his often confusing childhood and his successful adult life. As a schoolboy, he felt isolated: Autistic children tend toward literalism, and they have a difficult time catching unstated nuances in speech. And so, when teachers or friends spoke to Tammet but failed to ask him a direct question, he didn't realize he was supposed to respond. Although, as the author explains, autistic people tend not to catch on to emotional undercurrents, Tammet is quite attentive to the stresses and strains in his childhood home: His father had a nervous breakdown and there was never enough money (Tammet experienced his parents' fights as a color-blue). Turning to adolescence and his early 20s, Tammet recalls coming out as gay, but he doesn't allow sexuality to take over the book. Perhaps the most affecting chapters come near the end, as the author describes the quiet comfort he has achieved with his partner, Neil. In the predictable order of their shared home, Tammet feels "calm...and secure." Tammet usefully sets his own story in a wider context, with period discussions of the state of research into autism and Asperger's syndrome. At times, he is quite poetic, especially when he writes about numbers. In his mind, numbers have shape, color and texture. Describing his occasional nighttime visions of numbers, Tammet explains that "walking around my numerical landscapes...I never feel lost, because the prime number shapes act as signposts."Transcends thedisability-memoir genre.
Release date NZ
February 22nd, 2007
Author
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Imprint
Hodder Paperback
Pages
304
Dimensions
130x200x18
ISBN-13
9780340899755
Product ID
2373024

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