Oliver Sacks called The Siege: A Family's Journey into the World of an Autistic Child "one of the finest 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, perseverance, and love.
Jessy Park, now an adult, still struggles with language, with hypersensitivities and obsessions, and with the social interactions that ordinary people take for granted but that she cannot understand. With the help of family, teachers, and friends, Jessy has achieved more than her parents could have hoped for. She has left behind the extraordinary repetitive calculations of her autism for the utilitarian tasks of determining her share of the grocery bill and balancing her checkbook. She has grown into an accomplished artist--her astonishing paintings transfigure the ordinary world with the rainbow colors of Nirvana. More important, she has overcome her social handicaps enough to hold a job, becoming not a burden but a contributing, active member of her family and community. Exiting Nirvana is a luminous, moving story about the making of a self and what it means to be human, an account Jessy's mother must tell for her, since she cannot tell it for herself. But most of all it is a remarkable story of growth, not only in Jessy but in everyone who has touched her and whom she has touched.
New York Times - Derek Bickerton
...a thoughtful, measured assessment, filled with piercing insights into both the autistic condition and the alien mind of the autistic individual. . . . beautifully written and mostly succeeds in making sense out of seemingly senseless behavior.
NJ Courier Post
This beautifully crafted portrait of an autistic adult artist includes color reproductions of Jessy's paintings, with descriptions in her own handwriting. Recommended for all libraries.
...observes the autistic and external worlds...in incisive, often exquisite prose, Park affords entry into Jessy's and her own remarkable journey between the two...
... to her credit, Park does not gloss over the continuing frustrations and limitations of Jessy's participation in the larger world.... Wry, revealing, and thoughtful.
Eric Schopler, Ph.D., Professor and Founder, Division TEACCH, of North Carolina
[The] crowning achievement of a pioneering parent...Park has produced a many faceted gem...a must read for students, professionals, and parents wanting to expand their understanding of autism.
Bryna Siegal,Ph.D., author of The World of the Autistic Child and Director, Pervasive Developmental Disorders Clinic, University of California, San Francisco
...detailed observation and intricate analysis--luminously, intelligently, sensitively done here by Clara Park. Exiting Nirvana is superb.
A moving, deeply absorbing story of a family in crisis. What sets it apart from most fiction about difficult subjects such as autism, is the author's ability to write about a sad and frightening situation with a seamless blend of warmth, compassion and humor.
These are 2 of the 6 readalike suggestions for Exiting Nirvana. Members have full access to all readalikes. If you are a member, please login. To find out more about membership, click here.
Judge rules unused Borders gift cards to be worthless(May 23 2013) Borders owes nothing to holders of roughly $210.5 million of gift cards that had not been used by the time the bookstore chain shut down, a Manhattan federal...