Heeeeere's John (right) and Augusten!
Last night John Elder Robison's guaranteed to be #1 non-fiction best seller, Look Me In The Eye, debuted in New York. He spoke to a standing room only crowd at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square. He read three passages from his book and his banter with younger brother Augusten Burroughs was nothing short of brilliant. We could have been watching a performance at Carnegie Hall. That's how polished these two men were on stage.
John commands the attention of an older brother. Augusten was the perfect foil for John's dry wit. The audience cheered and laughed throughout the reading. And then stood for an ovation. Barbara Fischkin was there with her husband and twenty year old son with autism Dan (and his amazing caregiver Anthony.) John gave them a nod of appreciation.
After the reading John took questions. Another Aspergian man asked if John felt he would be seen as a freak, and if his book could harm the Aspergers community. With a resounding "NO" John pointed out that his story is one of acceptance, understanding and extolling the strengths of people with autism. He told the crowd that he does not feel he needs a cure. And no one could disagree. He also mentioned that there are children much more severely affected with autism - acknowledging that treatment is important for that population.
It was a gloriously successful evening. I'm so happy for John, who is kind, thoughtful, to the point (oh yes) and absolutely Aspergian.
I met several blog buddies. Hello to The Muse, Polly Kahl, Irene, Melissa and if I've forgotten anyone please chime in on the comments! And Rainmom! I forgot Rainmom who had to wipe the tears from her eyes all evening. I was close to weepy myself.