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Out With It: How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice Hardcover – April 16, 2013
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“Preston's book pulses with wit and energy, and the realities of how difficult living with [stuttering] is painted vividly.... Preston is unflinching and funny; she manages to find a happy balance of education, memoir, and feel-good-factor that few books actually achieve, concluding that it is our 'imperfections that ultimately make us beautiful.' Never saccharine or pandering, Preston's book is a triumph of telling your story without fear or glossing over the harder to look at details.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“An inspiring memoir.... Readers expecting a fairy-tale ending when they finish the book can’t have been reading very closely, but Preston comes to a truce with stuttering, and her battles with it make for engaging reading.” (Kirkus Reviews)
"Out With It is both a compassionate, unflinching memoir and an anatomy of life with a stammer. Katherine Preston offers affirmation for the millions of us who live with a speech disfluency and practical insight for those who don't. I highly recommend this astute and engaging book." (David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas)
“Katherine Preston is an upbeat and inspiring example of how to deal with a problem that concerns so many and yet is acknowledged by so few. Out With It deserves the widest possible audience.” (Michael Palin, actor, author, and founder of the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children)
“Katherine Preston's memoir is an astute and personal exploration on the human experience.... A must-read.” (Emily Blunt, actress)
“A frank, encouraging, and fresh exploration of a problem that's more widespread than we think. Out With It is a welcome addition to the small body of literature on this fascinating and mysterious subject.” (Margaret Drabble, author of The Peppered Moth and A Pattern in the Carpet: A Personal History with Jigsaws)
“Out With It is a highly personal, vivid, and affecting account of one woman's journey from disability to wholeness through self-acceptance. It is sure to engage anyone who has traveled down a kindred path.” (Benson Bobrick, author of The Caliph's Splendor and Knotted Tongues: Stuttering in History and the Quest for a Cure)
“Katherine Preston is an extraordinary new literary voice and a triumphant storyteller of her generation. How she got there is a captivating tale and we are all the richer for her experience and her arrival.” (Carl Bernstein, author of A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton)
“I’ve spent decades helping others reach their peak level of physical fitness and realize that the strength within creates the picture of health on the outside. Though I may look like a tough guy, I’ve fought my own inner battle with stuttering for most of my life. In Out With It, Katherine Preston describes, in such great detail, what it’s like to not be able to express yourself clearly and without ridicule. With her memoir, she’s become a voice for anyone with speech issues. My only complaint is that she didn’t write it sooner.” (Jake Steinfeld, Chairman & CEO, Body by Jake; Founder, Major League Lacrosse; Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils)
“A compelling bird’s eye view of a condition few people are exposed to—and even fewer have patience for. Out With It is an inspiring, emotional story about one woman’s struggle to be heard—with an intelligent and unique love story as an added delight.” (Liz Tuccillo, co-author of He's Just Not That Into You, author of How to Be Single, and member of the board of directors of Our Time, a theater company for kids who stutter)
“A refreshingly honest memoir.... Out With It is a unique book, and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who stammers, knows someone who stammers, or simply wants to know more about this often misunderstood condition. It made me laugh out loud, gave me deep, positive revelations about the stammering experience, and simply made me appreciate the journey a little bit more.” (Speaking Out, quarterly publication of the British Stammering Association)
“An interesting journey, both across country and in life.” (New York Daily News)
About the Author
Katherine Preston is a writer, public speaker, and a regular contributor to Psychology Today. Raised in England, she currently lives in San Francisco. Find out more at KatherinePreston.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Katherine is able to turn her shame about her speech on its head, and provides real inspiration for anyone that has ever felt confined or trapped by our own doing. This book taught me about myself, and about those I love. It is about more than stuttering - it is about connecting. I couldn't put it down, I absolutely loved it!
A few weeks ago, I heard it had been published, and I eagerly downloaded the ebook to my Kindle, and devoured it over the past week or so. I am very impressed! While the book has become more of a personal memoir than a set of interviews with stutterers, she does a wonderful job of conveying what it's like to be a stutterer and the struggles that one feels. I found many of those parts very moving, and I could definitely identify with her struggles.
She also includes some of the material from her interviews with other stutterers, as well as therapists and a few celebrities like Michael Palin of Monty Python, whose movie "A Fish Called Wanda" caused a big uproar in the stuttering community when it first came out and has been much discussed since. I never knew that his father stuttered and that the character in the movie was based on him.
There are many wonderful anecdotes from Katherine and other stutterers, including from some people I have met over the years in the stuttering community. I also felt like I learned a lot from reading her book about some of the therapies out there and the history behind them, as well as the scientific research that has been done on the possible genetic causes of stuttering and future treatments that might develop from such research. She answered many of the questions that people who belong to our group--and those who come for the first time to a meeting--often ask those of us who have been going to stuttering support groups for a while. I feel like I have a better sense of how the different therapies out there work that I didn't really have before, having only worked with a few different therapists over the years before moving to the kind of self-support model that the National Stuttering Association provides.
Anyway, I am definitely going to recommend this book to the other stutterers at our next meeting, and very likely at many more meetings to come!
Regarding her decision to write a memoir as a stutterer, the author explains, “I knew that I needed to exorcise my own demons, that I need to write my own story” (P209). For her, writing was the best way to face with her negative emotions and painful memories and try to dissect, reflect, and finally come to terms with them. Since my early childhood, I am also living with a stutter for more than 30 years. Translating this book into Japanese was really an amazing experience for me. It helped me a lot to “exorcise my own demons” and to heal my trauma of stuttering.
Also, I am happy that the Japanese readers have been putting positive reviews or comments for “Out With It” on the internet. Katherine’s book goes beyond national borders!
Thank you, Katherine, for your wonderful memoir. It has profoundly enriched my life.
Since as parents we have no handbook on how to best help our kids, this book is a definite read for parents who have a child who stutters. I truly believe that this book will help other parents who aren't sure how to best support their kids. Some pages were painful to read without a doubt, as I can easily identify with Katherine's parents on being scared and watching your child withdrawal and hurt, them being confused and not understanding why suddenly the words that were once easy to roll of their tongue they just can't get out. That helpless feeling of not knowing how to help them and wanting to take that pain away just hurts. As a parent of a teen who stutters, if you have a child who stutters I urge you to read this book.
Thank you for your inspirational and amazing spirit Katherine, your words and amazing book. I look forward to sharing it with my son as he grows up and finds his voice!