Author(s): Naoki Higashida
FALL DOWN SEVEN TIMES, GET UP EIGHT is Naoki Higashida's gently subversive follow-up to his phenomenally popular book THE REASON I JUMP, which he wrote as a 13-year-old boy with severe autism. Now he shares his thoughts and experiences as a young man, exploring a range of topics from education, identity, family and society to personal growth. He has also written an enigmatic story, 'A Journey', especially for this edition, which is introduced by David Mitchell (co-translator with KA Yoshida). Part memoir, part critique of a world that sees disabilities ahead of disabled people, it opens a window into the mind and world of an autistic, non-verbal young adult, providing remarkable insights into autism in general.
[The Reason I Jump] has been impossible to forget. -- Ian Thomson * Books of the Year 2013, Evening Standard * The most remarkable book of the year. The book throws a pontoon bridge over the chasm dividing autistic and neuro-typical experience. -- Charlotte Moore * Books of the Year 2013, Spectator * An extraordinary account of how autism feels from the inside. * Observer * Spectacular . . . its dignity and stoicism are sometimes almost unbearably moving. -- Marcus Berkmann * Daily Mail * A rare, wonderful book . . . touching, funny and beautiful -- Janine Cook * Independent * It will stretch your vision of what it is to be human. -- Andrew Solomon * The Times * Revelatory . . . I defy anyone not to be captivated, charmed and uplifted by it. But above all, you will never feel the same about autism again. -- John Preston * Evening Standard * Brilliant . . . both moving and strangely optimistic. -- Ray Connolly * Daily Telegraph * PRAISE FOR THE REASON I JUMP:A book that makes me want to say, "This is truly important, and anyone interested in autism should read it," is a rare find . . . astonishing. -- Charlotte Moore * Sunday Times * Once again, the invitation to step inside Higashida's mind is irresistible . . . Higashida challenges the common belief that people with severe autism are exclusively literal-minded. Time and again he uses metaphor to help readers understand his world . . . if any author can help us get a grip, it's Higashida. -- William Moore * Evening Standard * Now that Naoki Higashida is a young adult, he has developed rich inner thoughts and he strives to learn more about the world around him. Until he was able to communicate with his alphabet grid, he was lonely and it was agony. He begs teachers and others, who work with special needs, to provide opportunities to learn and grow. A sheltered life is not paradise. Naoki maintains that to avoid impairment of personal development, he must have contact with "some of the hardships other people endure." This book is essential reading for parents and teachers who work with individuals with autism who remain non-verbal. * Temple Grandin *
Naoki Higashida was born in Kimitsu, Japan in 1992. He was diagnosed with autism in 1998 and subsequently attended a school for students with special needs, then (by correspondence) Atmark Cosmopolitan High School, graduating in 2011. Having learnt to use a method of communication based on an alphabet grid, Naoki wrote The Reason I Jump when he was thirteen and it was published in Japan in 2007. He has published several books since, from autobiographical accounts about living with autism to fairy tales, poems and illustrated books, and writes a regular blog. Despite his communication challenges, he also gives presentations about life on the autistic spectrum throughout Japan and works to raise awareness about autism. In 2011 he appeared in director Gerry Wurzburg's documentary on the subject, Wretches & Jabberers. David Mitchell is the author of the novels Ghostwritten, number9dream, Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, The Bone Clocks and Slade House. He has been shortlisted twice for the Man Booker Prize and won several awards for his writing. KA Yoshida was born in Yamaguchi, Japan, and specialised in English Poetry at Notre Dame Seishin University.