Monday, February 2, 2009

The Siege & Exiting Nirvana

From Google Books: At the age of two, in 1960, Jessy Park was remote, withdrawn, unable to walk or talk, yet oddly content within the invisible walls that surrounded her. Doctors were baffled. The study of autism was still in its infancy. Jessy's family stepped in. This book records the challenges and rewards of the first eight years of Jessy's life.

Reprising her own now classic work The Siege, Clara Claiborne Park gives us a moving, eloquent portrait of Jessy as an autistic adult -- still struggling with language, with hypersensitivities and obsessions, and with the social interactions that most of us take for granted, but at the same time achieving more than her parents could have hoped for, becoming an accomplished artist, and growing into an active member of her family and community.

For more on Jessica Park and her art.

Oliver Sacks called The Siege: A Family's Journey into the World of an Autistic Child "one of the first personal accounts of autism, and still the best -- beautiful and intelligent." Now, in Exiting Nirvana, Clara Claiborne Park continues the story of her daughter Jessy. In this moving, eloquent memoir, we see Jessy's progressive journey out of her isolated "Nirvana" into the world we all share. It is an honest and captivating story of emergence, perservance, and love.