cover image How Can I Talk if My Lips Don't Move? Inside My Autistic Mind

How Can I Talk if My Lips Don't Move? Inside My Autistic Mind

Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay, . . Arcade, $25 (219pp) ISBN 978-1-55970-859-3

In short chapters, some including evocative prose poems, Mukhopadhyay, a severely autistic adolescent whose mother painstakingly taught him how to read and write, introduces the reader to his daily inner life. Sometimes his thoughts are compulsive—he misses an entire film while mentally drawing diagonals across every one of the design squares on the cinema's ceiling—and sometimes fragmented, as when looking at a bucket: “I might easily get distracted by its redness, since it would remind me of how my hands bled when I had fallen from a swing, how I was so absorbed in that red that I had forgotten about my pain, and how that red resembled a hibiscus....” Mukhopadhyay reflects on autism without romanticizing it, acknowledging “my physical and neurological limitations” and declaring, “I am not worried about hell because I have experienced it here on earth.” Occasionally, his writing is somewhat sketchy, but for the most part this is an eye-opening book on a serious disorder and the hope that other autistic children can learn to transcend it through education and imaginative self-reflection. (Jan.)