, Feb 1, 1994
- 256 pages
Labeled deaf, retarded, disturbed, and insane, Donna Williams lived in a world of her own. Alternating between rigid hostility and extroversion, she waged what she termed her war against "the world." She lived in a dreamlike state, withdrawn, viewing her incomprehensible surroundings from the security of a "world under glass, " parroting the voices of those around her in the hope that they would leave her alone. Few people understood her, least of all Donna herself. She knew only that something was wrong with her, and she yearned to be "normal." It was not until three years ago, when Donna was twenty-five, that she discovered the word - autism - that would at last give her the opportunity to understand herself and to build a bridge to join the real world. Nobody Nowhere, Donna's extraordinary autobiography, is her attempt to come to terms with autism and is a vivid memoir of the titanic struggles she has endured in her quest to merge "my world" with "the world." The book takes readers on an incredible journey into the mind of an autistic person and in the process gives an unprecedented insider's view of a little-understood condition and destroys the many myths and misconceptions about autism. As useful as the label of autism has been for her, her memoir reveals that the label does not define her. This eloquent, often searing book also illuminates her fierce intelligence, creativity, and sense of humor. Hers is a story of incredible courage and inspiration, too. Reared in an extremely hostile environment, Donna faced the ever-present threat of institutionalization. Instead, she ran away from home at a young age, survived on the streets, and even managed to get herself through college.Today she lives independently. While Nobody Nowhere will be a breakthrough book for autistic people and their families, its poetic sensibility and extraordinary insights will make it inspired reading for anyone interested in the soul of the mind.