How to Be Human
An Autistic Man's Guide to Life
By Jory Fleming
A remarkable and unforgettable memoir from the first man with autism to attend Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship, revealing what life is really like inside a world constructed for neurotypical minds while celebrating the many gifts of being different.
Jory Fleming could not effectively communicate as a child. He was wracked by uncontrollable crying fits, had no tolerance for people, and couldn’t manage the outside world. A decade later, Jory became the first young adult with autism to attend Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship. Yet if you think How to Be Human is a how-to guide to overcoming the challenges of being autistic, think again. This book is a manifesto on what it really takes to be human.
Jory does offer a window into what it’s like to live in a world constructed for neurotypical brains when yours is not. But in the process, he also shines a light on the limitations of the neurotypical world: how much language cannot say, how linear thinking leads to dead ends, and why emotions can often diminish us by needlessly wounding us. Jory’s story shows how a beautifully different mind like his can express the best of humanity, and leaves us with big questions like “Who has value?” and “What is a disability?”
Jory’s kindness for others and his passion for making the world a better place shine through this amazing story, and it will change you, leaving you with the realization that very different minds can express the best of humanity.
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