A Father's Accidental Education in Autism
Joel Yanofsky tried for years to start this memoir. “It’s not just going to be about autism,” he told his wife, Cynthia. “It’s going to be about parenthood and marriage, about hope and despair, and storytelling, too.”
“Marriage?” Cynthia said. “What about marriage?”
A veteran book reviewer, Yanofsky has spent a lifetime immersed in literature (not to mention old movies and old jokes), which he calls shtick. This account of a year in the life of a family describes a father’s struggle to enter his son’s world, the world of autism, using the materials he knows best: self-help books, feel-good memoirs, literary classics from the Bible to Dr. Seuss, old movies, and, yes, shtick. Funny, wrenching, and unfailingly candid, Bad Animals is both an exploration of a baffling condition and a quirky love story told by a gifted writer.
Joel Yanofsky is the author of the essay collection Homo Erectus: And Other Popular Tales of True Romance, the novel Jacob’s Ladder, and the biography Mordecai & Me: An Appreciation of a Kind, which won the QWF Mavis Gallant Non-fiction Prize and the Canadian Jewish Book Award. He’s a regular book reviewer for the Montreal Gazette and has written for a variety of publications, including Canadian Geographic and the Village Voice. He’s won two National Magazine Awards as well as the Malahat Review’s Creative Nonfiction Prize. He lives in Montreal, Canada, with his wife, Cynthia, and his son, Jonah.