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The Electricity of Every Living Thing: One Woman’s Walk with Asperger’s Hardcover – 19 Apr 2018
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A life-affirming and perspective-shifting memoir of one woman's walk in the wilds as she comes to terms with an Asperger's diagnosis.
About the Author
Katherine May writes fiction and memoir, and is also known as Betty Herbert (The 52 Seductions). She lives in Whitstable with her husband and son, is obsessed with Devon, and loves gin martinis, the sea and walking until her legs ache. She was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2016.
Katherine began her literary career as a resident writer for Tate Britain's education programme, and until recently ran the Creative Writing programmes at Canterbury Christ Church University.
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We walk along the path of life wounded until we have the knowledge we need to truly know ourselves. Autism emerges as the one thing which makes sense, and from which we can reconstruct our lives. I felt Katherine hold my hand as I looked into a vast and quite beautiful mirror. I urge you to take a good long look too.
reconstruct our lives.
Travelling along the beautiful South West Costal Path, and various other routes, she recounts and analyses her reactions to realising that she has arrived at adulthood and motherhood unaware that she is autistic.
There is some blunt and painful writing, and she is often very hard in herself, even as she starts to realise that many of her actions are a result of being 'wired differently'.
The astonishing sensitivity and awareness in her writing, both about the beautiful landscapes and nature around on her walks, and in relation to her family, friends and self put paid to many outdated myths about what it is like to be autistic.
I would recommend this book to anyone on their own autistic journey (like me!), to anyone who has a friend or family member who is autistic, and anyone who is interested in a good read.
This was raw, emotional, revelatory and cathartic to read, Katherine's experiences of motherhood and how overwhelming things can be, balanced by the tender moments she shares with Bert was exceptionally written.
I feel this book provides a real insight in to the vast intricacies and experiences of a person on the spectrum, as well as detailing the highs & lows of hiking, including some wonderful informative anecdotes on the places she comes across on the coastal path.
The acceptance found through navigating herself through diagnosis and the instances that lead up to it is perhaps the most important aspect of the story, that it's ok to be different.
A really delightful book.
Thank you to Netgalley for a copy that I was able to read & review in my own words.
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