Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dear Gabriel, by Halfdan Freihow, An Autism Memoir

I just finished reading, "Dear Gabriel" by Halfdan Freihow. It's a "letter" from a father to his son with autism about their life together. Originally written in Norwegian, even in translation, the stark prose is striking. Funny thing is, autism in Norway is very much like autism in America. Love is love. Confusion is confusion. Fear is fear. Compassion is compassion.

A father's point of view is often clearer, perhaps I'd call it better distilled than a mother's - at least this mother's. Men can push aside the emotion and write. My writing about autism often resembles this:

Halfdan Freihow's writing on autism more closely resembles this:

You see the difference? Both of these photos are called "sunshine" in a search. But they are quite different in their expression. I really enjoyed Freihow's spare descriptions that got right to the heart of his son's autism.

You can buy Dear Gabriel HERE.


mcewen said...

Can my shelves manage another volume? Can my brain, come to think of it.

Kim Stagliano said...

McEwen, hi! It's a nice book. It really, really is. No controversy at all. (Says the queen pot stirrer, yes?) I really liked its cadence and pacing. It was like the book had a flavor to me. A mellow vanilla - creamy and smooth and went down easy. (Oh my!) I am addled tonight. LONG several days with the kids home home home. Wake at 6:00am and non stop from there. Hoping school goes smoothly. Worried about 7th grade for my tall, pretty girl with the kick ass figure. And still out of beer.

amanda said...

Hang in there Kim, the holidays are nearly over and then normal life will resume like nothing happened....Being gorgeous and autistic will be harder as life goes on but I'm sure it's nothing the two of you won't be able to manage. Can't beleive it's just looks she gets from you!
Did you think autism would be different over here? Sorry to disappoint but your tales are remarkably familiar to me! ;)