Wednesday, September 26, 2007


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.

CONGRATULATIONS, JOHN.

12 comments:

amanda said...

Congratulations John! Hope your success just keeps growing!

I speed read the London Times aticle and no you don't come across as a nutter. Sorry I couldn't leave a comment on your site so hope you find this here.

You're book's on my Christmas list

Demon Hunter said...

Congratulations to John! Thanks for sharing, Kim. This was just awesome! :*)

lisa said...

John's is the first book I've ever pre-ordered. I've been a fan of Augusten's work for years. You deserve kudos for your support of another talented author, and as a believer in karma, I know the release of your book will be absolutely incredible.

I shudder at the thought of being described as 'normal', I urge everyone to revel in the things that make them different. Start today.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Thanks for sharing Kim!

Something about the picture, & about the video on John's site. The love and respect these two brothers share for each other, that is so evident between the jabs and banter...it is really moving.

Congrats John!

(Amazon just sent word that my copy shipped today).

Polly Kahl said...

Great description of lat night Kim, and great meeting you last night too.

Drama Mama said...

I thought of John all day yesterday.

Thanks for sharing with those of us who had to miss it -

Emily said...

This is such a great book! I can't put it down. I am really looking forward to having my family read it... I even bought a copy for friend. Thanks, Kim, for introducing us to John (and John, keep up the great work!)...

Laura said...

Yes, thank you so much Kim for introducing us to John! I've read half of the book and it's so wonderful - funny, sweet, touching. Glad you got to go to the big debut and meet some other bloggers!

Amanda said...

"Normal" is what you do every day so my normal will not necessarily be your normal. Actually I guarantee my normal will not be yours but you get what I mean don't you? For me normal is a personal thing not a population thing.

The Anti-Wife said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, Kim!

Barbara Fischkin said...

Kim

It was a great evening. John read selections that just make you want to read more. Dan, far as I can tell, had a great time. Anthony Butler, Dan's teacher and helper, told us that Dan fell into a deep and peaceful snore as soon as he got home. And yes, I can't say enough about Anthony.
The Audio version, read by John, is waiting for Dan in his room this evening. When Dan listened to the audio selection on John's site he broke into a big smile so I just knew we had to get the audio version of the book. (It's abridged and read by John). John reports - and it sounds right to me - that many individuals with autism hear themselves in his voice.

The Muse said...

Hi Kim,

It was wonderful to meet you in person. I hope that there will be some other occasions that we will meet again. (Perhaps one of your book signings) I'm sorry that I missed having a piece of your cake in Madison. I had something come up at home so I could not make it to the RJ Julia event. I'll have to save that chocolate wine for another book signing, I guess. You'll have to post a photo of the cake on your blog. I'm sure that John enjoyed it! I really wish that I could have come tonight.