John Elder Robison is a writer, speaker, and advocate. He is the author of Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s. Read Robinson's exclusive Amazon guest review of Parallel Play:
The first time I saw Tim Page, I felt a sense of familiarity. He was obviously smart but shy, socially awkward, with a different cadence to his voice. There was an undefined, instinctive "something" that told me Tim was a fellow Aspergian. I feel different and excluded from much human company, but people like Tim are an exception. They are my people. They are me.
Tim says he’s lived life as an outsider, and that’s exactly how I feel too. As a result, even though I’ve grown up to find commercial success, happiness often eludes me. Within minutes of meeting Tim, it was clear he felt the same. Neurotypical people try to welcome us into their world, but Asperger’s blinds us to the olive branches of friendship they proffer. They even shake the leaves in front of our faces, but we just gaze, impassive and oblivious. People assume we’ve rejected them, but in truth we want their friendship and acceptance with every fiber of our being. That’s the heartbreak of it.
Tim’s story illustrates that reality with clear and moving prose. Even when he’s been with people, much of his life has been spent alone. He was always smart, but like me, I wonder what it’s been for. His book shows that genius has its benefits but it’s not a formula for happiness or even general life success. You’ll wonder if his extraordinary abilities are a cause or a result of his isolation. Or are they just more facets of a unique mind?
Anyone with an interest in Asperger’s and the complexity of the human mind will be fascinated by Parallel Play. It will leave you with much to think about.--John Elder Robison
(Photo © Rick Colson)
—The Los Angeles Times
"An improbably lovely memoir… In fascinatingly precise detail and often to pricelessly funny effect, [Page] describes ways in which his efforts to feign normalcy have backfired."
—The New York Times
"The wordsmithing is nimble and lyrical, well-tuned by a writer with a musician's ear."
—The Washington Post Book World
"Fascinating... In this tender but unsparing look back, Page...[leaves] readers to ponder how a condition that bedevils and isolates can also yield magicianly talent, originality, and grit."
—O, The Oprah Magazine
—People magazine's "Great Reads"
"Page expertly fuses information about Asperger's with personal (at times embarrassing) anecdotes - and makes the result feel like Holden Caulfield with a touch of Stephen Daedalus."
"Parallel Play tells of Tim's journey from lonely boy genius to Pulitzer-winning writer. One thing becomes clear: Tim's sharp and incisive insights into music and the arts were made possible by Asperger's syndrome, the very condition some see as a disability. I guarantee you'll be inspired, amused, occasionally saddened and deeply touched by his story."
—John Elder Robison, author of Look Me in the Eye
"A lucid, sweetly sentimental testament to growing up different."
"Tim Page's witty, intellectually stimulating memoir almost made me wish I had Asperger's syndrome."
"Tim Page has written an autobiography that is remarkable in terms of eloquently describing the life of someone who has Asperger's syndrome. Being an accomplished and celebrated writer, his vivid use of language captivates the reader. Those who have Asperger's syndrome, and their family members, will identify with Tim's experiences; professionals will appreciate the descriptions of thoughts and perceptions, enabling them to achieve a greater understanding of the syndrome. The casual reader will enjoy the work of a master craftsman."
"Parallel Play is a beautifully written account of Asperger's syndrome, a riveting portrayal of what it is like to live in a psychological world that few understand. Tim Page has made this world real, poignant, and more comprehensible. He has written a fascinating and important book."
—Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., author of An Unquiet Mind and Professor of Psychiatry at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
"The usual stuff of teenage years--sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll--viewed through the unusual prism of Asperger's syndrome makes for a fascinating YA read."