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Mozart and the whale : an Asperger's love story
Jerry Newport and Mary Newport and Johnny Dodd
Adult Nonfiction RC553.A88 .N59 2007

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The realization that "our community seemed to know more about the first twenty years of an autistic person's life than it did about the rest of that life" leads the Newports to tell their own boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-finds-girl love story but with a difference, for both suffer from Asperger's syndrome. At times, this "terminal cluelessness" seems both the cause of and the least of their problems: Jerry's life "had drifted from one failed vocation to the next, [among them] pot dealer, horse-race betting fanatic, taxi driver, Goodwill bell ringer, bookstore cashier, elementary school librarian." Mary's more traumatic experiences included a cult marriage, abusive lovers and mental hospital stints. Both grapple with anxiety and despair before epiphanies: for Jerry, when he sees Rain Man; for Mary, when her brother directs her to the Autistic Society. Love for the two slips in the day they meet at a party for adult autistics. Then they experienced media fame, becoming "Mr. and Mrs. Autism" (a front-page profile in the Los Angeles Times; a 60 Minutes visit; an eponymous movie). Boy loses girl again in a divorce, but love triumphs. Along the way, autistic readers will find comforting fellowship, and general readers will acquire valuable knowledge. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Mary and Jerry Newport (Your Life Is Not a Label) have Asperger's syndrome, a milder form of autism, and their story has been the subject of 60 Minutes profiles and an as-yet-unreleased film starring Josh Hartnett. Together with People magazine writer Dodd, Mary and Jerry provide complementary chapters illustrating their difficult lives, from childhood through adulthood, marriage, divorce, and remarriage. While this book has a great deal of promise, and its subjects' lives are truly interesting, the book fails to deliver. The alternating viewpoints for the years Mary and Jerry are together offer little distinction. Also, while we see how the group Adult Gathering, United and Autistic (AGUA) played a very important role in their lives, we learn little about this group's means of supporting adults with autism. For better descriptions of Asperger's syndrome in adults, see Dawn Prince-Hughes's Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism or Gunilla Gerland's A Real Person: Life on the Outside. Despite its drawbacks, this book could benefit larger public libraries with autism collections.-Corey Seeman, Kresge Business Administration Lib., Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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