A review of Temple Grandin’s new book – The Autistic Brain.
Sacks about Grandin in what is perhaps his best book (I haven’t read them all), An Anthropologist on Mars: “How could an autistic person write an autobiography? It seemed a contradiction in terms.”
This remains a troubling question which points to the fragility of psychiatric diagnoses [see the autism controversy in DSM V; and consider the convoluted history of the term ‘autism’, originating in schizophrenic symptomatology]. As the author of the review notes – though I am probably overstating his case – diagnoses are often unstable between prediction and prescription, between nosology and destiny. What holds for most stories of illness – that they are not simply medical stories – is even clearer when the story is one of mental illness, especially if psychosis is not involved.
Is Grandin, in her books, opening a window to a…
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