"This is a book about autism. Specifically, it is about my autism, which is both like and unlike other people's autism. But just as much, it is a story about how I emerged from the darkness of it into the beauty of it."
In this elegant and thought-provoking memoir, Dawn Prince-Hughes traces her personal growth from undiagnosed autism to the moment when, as a young woman, she entered the Seattle Zoo and immediately became fascinated with the gorillas.
Having suffered from a lifelong inability to relate to people in a meaningful way, Dawn was surprised to find herself irresistibly drawn to these great primates. By observing them and, later, working with them, she was finally able to emerge from her solitude and connect to living beings in a way she had never previously experienced.
Songs of the Gorilla Nation is more than a story of autism, it is a paean to all that is important in life. Dawn Prince-Hughes's evocative story will undoubtedly have a lasting impact, forcing us, like the author herself, to rediscover and assess our own understanding of human emotion.
"[An] affecting, thoughtful memoir....[T]ouching eloquence and clarity." Publishers Weekly
"[O]pens a window into the world of autism to provide an unforgettable view." Kirkus Reviews
"An excellent addition to any library's collection about autism, this will also resonate with all who understand the human-animal connection." Booklist
In a moving and inspirational memoir, the author tells the remarkable story of her journey out of the isolation of Asperger's Syndrome, and of the role played by a family of captive gorillas in her transformation.
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Dawn Prince-Hughes received her M.A. and Ph.D. in interdisciplinary anthropology from the Universität Herisau in Switzerland and is an instructor in the department of anthropology at Western Washington University. She is the author of Gorillas Among Us: A Primate Ethnographer's Book of Days and the editor of Aquamarine Blue 5: Personal Stories of College Students with Autism, and is the executive chair of ApeNet, a nonprofit organization.