A few of us have been at this "'notable person on the spectrum writes book'-thing" for some time. And whether it's me, Temple Grandin, Liane Holliday Willey, Jerry Newport, John Elder Robison, or Donna Williams...etc. I'm going to guess that we all, as oldsters, see a tremendous number of young, next-gen spectrumites who are writing, or who are seeking to write books about what life is like on the autism spectrum.
You're not alone, and if that's all your writing process is to you -- a grind you're dying to get through -- that does not make you less of a writer.
My hope is that my story, told from the other side of this sixth stage, will be a catalyst for positive change in the way we approach, regard, and respond to the social fallout of mental illness.
Mary is advocating that writers not be chained to exactitudes. But in giving this kind of permission, she is opening the door to a small battleground where absolutists are going to have a field day with her. For black-and-white thinkers there is truth or not truth.
Last week Mary Karr presented her new book The Art of Memoir to an audience in Berkeley, California. Brooke Warner, my co-teaching colleague, interviewed Mary in the intimate hall of the Hillside Club, a historical building with a wooden floor and small stage.
Why fluid, artistic memoirs are more than okay
I'd like to raise a quiet hand in defense of structure. Indeed, it has always seemed to me that structure defines memoir -- elevates it above mere autobiography, distinguishes it from journalism and essay, rescues it from narcissism.