The inspiring (and hilarious) memoir of a gloriously eccentric dad raising an equally eccentric son, by the bestselling author of *Look Me in the Eye*
John Elder Robison wasn't a model child. He was awkward in school; he ran away from home; he threatened people with knives. As an adult, he learned he had Asperger's syndrome, which explained a lot, and his youthful shenanigans made for riotous stories. But it wasn't so funny when his son, Cubby, started having trouble in school and seemed like he might be headed the same way.
Not that John was a model dad, either. When Cubby asked, "Where did I come from?" John said he'd bought him at the Kid Store-and that the salesman had cheated him by promising Cubby would do chores. He ditched Good Night, Moon for stories he made up about nuclear-powered horses. He taught Cubby to drive at age twelve. Cubby turned out to have his father's intelligence but also some of his resistance to authority. At seventeen, he was brilliant enough in chemistry to make military-grade explosives, which led to a raid by the ATF. That woke John up to another thing he and Cubby shared: Asperger's syndrome.
This is an unforgettable memoir about a different boy being raised by a different father-and learning to cope with, even celebrate, the difference.
JOHN ELDER ROBISON is the author of two previous books, Look Me in the Eye and Be Different, and he lectures widely on autism and neurological differences. An adjunct professor at Elms College, he also serves on committees and review boards for the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, and Autism Speaks. A machinery enthusiast and avid photographer, John lives in Amherst with his family, animals, and machines.
Author Residence: Amherst, Massachusetts
"How does a man who lacks a sense of empathy and an ability to read nonverbal cues learn to be a father? And how does a man with Asperger's learn to recognize the same symptoms in his own child? (A key element in the book is Robison's son's own diagnosis, and Robison's reaction to his having missed seeing the signs for as long as he had.) In many ways, this is a traditional father-and-son memoir, but the added element of Asperger's gives the story a stronger emotional core: when Robison and his wife separated, for example, he realized he had been misreading a lot of what had been going on between them. It's a story of a man learning to be a parent, yes, but it's also-and perhaps more importantly-the story of a man discovering, as an adult, who he really is."
"John Elder Robison is one of my autism super heroes because he bravely brings humor and humility to the heart and soul of the taboo and unexpected corners of life lived with autism. His new book, Raising Cubby, is more than a memoir about a father and son bound by their Asperger syndrome. It's a story that reminds us how precious and precarious the parent child relationship is and how beautiful our lives can be when we are share that ride together. Raising Cubby is Robison's best work yet."
-Liane Holliday-Willey, coauthor of Pretending To Be Normal: Living with Asperger Syndrome
"John Robison's skill as a master storyteller is nowhere more evident than in his third book, Raising Cubby. This heartwarming memoir takes us on the colorful journey of John and his son, Jack (aka Cubby), as they learn about the world together. At turns funny and poignant, it is, above all, the story of the powerful love of a father for his son. Told in the immensely entertaining and engaging style of John Elder Robison, it should be on everyone's must-read list."
-Lori S. Shery, President and Founder, ASPEN®
"Funny and moving...A warmhearted, appealing account by a masterful storyteller."
"Robison's third book starts with a bang-his description of the 'malicious explosion' created by his teenage Cubby that has the boy, who has Asperger's syndrome, looking at 60 years in prison, is as disconcerting as it is captivating....With the ensuing investigation and trial, Cubby and the author are drawn into a crazy world that threatens to tear apart their already delicate lives."