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Naoki Higashida was born in 1992 and was diagnosed with autism at the age of five. He graduated from high school in 2011 and lives in Kimitsu, Japan. He is an advocate, motivational speaker, and the author of several books of fiction and nonfiction.
The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism
“One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It’s truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid.”—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
NPR • The Wall Street Journal • Bloomberg Business • Bookish
FINALIST FOR THE BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE FIRST BOOK AWARD • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.
Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights—into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory—are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.
In his introduction, bestselling novelist David Mitchell writes that Naoki’s words allowed him to feel, for the first time, as if his own autistic child was explaining what was happening in his mind. “It is no exaggeration to say that The Reason I Jump allowed me to round a corner in our relationship.” This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA Yoshida, so they’d be able to share that feeling with friends, the wider autism community, and beyond. Naoki’s book, in its beauty, truthfulness, and simplicity, is a gift to be shared.
Praise for The Reason I Jump
“This is an intimate book, one that brings readers right into an autistic mind.”—Chicago Tribune (Editor’s Choice)
“Amazing times a million.”—Whoopi Goldberg, People
“The Reason I Jump is a Rosetta stone. . . . This book takes about ninety minutes to read, and it will stretch your vision of what it is to be human.”—Andrew Solomon, The Times (U.K.)
“Extraordinary, moving, and jeweled with epiphanies.”—The Boston Globe
“Small but profound . . . [Higashida’s] startling, moving insights offer a rare look inside the autistic mind.”—Parade
From the Hardcover edition.
Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8: A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism
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
La razón por la que salto
Un libro que otorga voz a aquellos niños autistas que ni siquiera tienen la capacidad de comunicarse verbalmente, que explica sus comportamientos; aquello que adoran y odian; las sensaciones que les produce nuestra actitud incrédula o temerosa...Igual que La escafandra y la mariposa o Wonder, La razón por la que salto conmueve y es un canto a la vida.
O que me faz pular
NAOKI HIGASHIDA sofre de autismo severo. Com grande dificuldade de se comunicar verbalmente, o jovem aprendeu a se expressar apontando as letras em uma cartela de papelão, e aos treze anos ele realizou um feito extraordinário: escreveu um livro.Delicado, poético e profundamente íntimo, O que me faz pular traz uma nova luz para entendermos a mente autista. O autor explica o comportamento muitas vezes desconcertante das pessoas com essa condição e nos oferece suas percepções de tempo, vida, beleza e natureza, apresentadas em um relato inesquecível.O que me faz pular, trazida para o leitor ocidental pelo renomado escritor David Mitchell e sua esposa, é uma obra única. A história de Naoki demonstra que, longe de serem insensíveis e indiferentes ao mundo, as pessoas com autismo são tão complexas quanto qualquer um de nós e dotadas de senso de humor, empatia e uma intensa imaginação. Seu mundo é incrivelmente rico, e esse relato autobiográfico nos oferece um vislumbre comovente dessa riqueza.
Derfor hopper jeg
Bevægende, tankevækkende og fuldkommen unik bog skrevet af en 13-årig japansk autistisk dreng, der har taget den vestlige verden med storm og toppet de engelske og amerikanske bestsellerlister. Hvorfor hopper du? Hvorfor gør du ikke det, du får besked på? Er det sandt, at I ikke bryder jer om at blive rørt ved? Kunne du tænke dig at være ’normal’? Det er bare en lille håndfuld af de spørgsmål, som den autistiske dreng Naoki Higashida giver svar på. I små, fine kapitler kommer han omkring en lang række fællestræk for mennesker med autisme og giver dermed læseren et enestående indblik i det autistiske barns tankeverden. Mest bemærkelsesværdigt er måske den livsvisdom, fantasi, humor og empati, som lyser ud af hver en sætning og gør op med den gængse opfattelse. Den engelske forfatter David Mitchell, der med sin japanske kone har oversat bogen til engelsk og udbredt den i Vesten, har skrevet et bevægende forord, hvori han bl.a. skriver: "Det var, som om vores egen søn for første gang talte til os og forklarede os, hvad der foregår inde i hans hoved."
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