Combining their talents, this brother-sister team has created a compassionate account of life with their autistic brother, David, interspersing prose chapters with comics chapters to offer an unusual memoir. Judy was once an editor at Henry Holt, while Paul draws cartoons for the New Yorker. Their collective work in this book spans five decades, beginning with David's birth in 1948 and ending in the present (he now lives in a community for people with autism). Roughly chronological, Paul's comics and Judy's prose are carefully intertwined so that the writing and the art amplify each other. Judy describes her family as "a cup of human fruit cocktail dumped onto the top of the house, each piece different but all out of the same can." She recalls a road trip she and David took together: "David himself was a part of the country I needed to see." The visual concepts in Paul's comics reflect his close association with Art Spiegelman, as Maus-like devices and images erupt inside imaginative pages. Together, brother and sister have succeeded in making an innovative, intimate and poetic probe into the inner world of the autistic mind that many readers will find quite moving. Agent, Gail Hochman. (Jan.) Forecast: Promoted with an author tour, this unique book could attract attention from diverse groups, including comics readers and the autistic support community. Paul is a well-known graphic novelist, renowned for his adaptation of Paul Auster's City of Glass, and Judy's book publishing connections have attracted blurbs from Louise Erdrich and other literary luminaries. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
In this remarkable book, the Karasiks present a sibling's viewpoint of growing up with autism. Alternating between Judy's memoir and Paul's comics, they chronicle the life of their brother, David, from the 1950s to today. The authors recount the heartbreaks and joys of growing up with an autistic sibling and offer insights into the treatment of the condition at a time, when the medical and educational professions knew little about it and blamed parents (namely, "refrigerator moms"). Events such as David's recitations of whole TV shows and his slapping his head as a response to uncomfortable situations take on new meaning through the unique format. Judy formerly worked as a book editor, and Paul is a professional cartoonist. Their book fills an important gap in the literature, complementing the parental view found in most autism narratives. This work is strongly recommended for all public libraries and academic libraries with collections on autism and disability studies, as well as for book groups that wish to include a graphic novel. Given the focus on children with special needs, secondary school libraries should also consider it. [For an interview with the authors, see "Sibling Revelry," p. 89.-Ed.]-Corey Seeman, Univ. of Toledo Libs., OH Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Louise Erdrich best-selling author of Love Medicine [A] book of honesty and gentle wit.
Jules Feiffer A touching family memoir presented in alternating chapters by a sister who writes and a younger brother who writes and draws comics....in a style so intimate and low-key that it is almost self-effacing. It could break your heart if you weren't smiling.