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Parallel Play

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Paperback published by Anchor (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
An affecting memoir of life as a boy who didn’t know he had Asperger’s syndrome until he became a man.

In 1997, Tim Page won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his work as the chief classical music critic of The Washington Post, work that the Pulitzer board called “lucid and illuminating.” Three years later, at the age of 45, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome–an autistic disorder characterized by often superior intellectual abilities but also by obsessive behavior, ineffective communication, and social awkwardness.

In a personal chronicle that is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Page revisits his early days through the prism of newfound clarity. Here is the tale of a boy who could blithely recite the names and dates of all the United States’ presidents and their wives in order (backward upon request), yet lacked the coordination to participate in the simplest childhood games. It is the story of a child who memorized vast portions of the World Book Encyclopedia simply by skimming through its volumes, but was unable to pass elementary school math and science. And it is the triumphant account of a disadvantaged boy who grew into a high-functioning, highly successful adult—perhaps not despite his Asperger’s but because of it, as Page believes. For in the end, it was his all-consuming love of music that emerged as something around which to construct a life and a prodigious career.

In graceful prose, Page recounts the eccentric behavior that withstood glucose-tolerance tests, anti-seizure medications, and sessions with the school psychiatrist, but which above all, eluded his own understanding. A poignant portrait of a lifelong search for answers, Parallel Play provides a unique perspective on Asperger’s and the well of creativity that can spring forth as a result of the condition.
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An affecting memoir of life as a boy who didn’t know he had Asperger’s syndrome until he became a man.

In 1997, Tim Page won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his work as the chief classical music critic of The Washington Post, work that the Pulitzer board called “lucid and illuminating.” Three years later, at the age of 45, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome–an autistic disorder characterized by often superior intellectual abilities but also by obsessive behavior, ineffective communication, and social awkwardness.

In a personal chronicle that is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Page revisits his early days through the prism of newfound clarity. Here is the tale of a boy who could blithely recite the names and dates of all the United States’ presidents and their wives in order (backward upon request), yet lacked the coordination to participate in the simplest childhood games. It is the story of a child who memorized vast portions of the World Book Encyclopedia simply by skimming through its volumes, but was unable to pass elementary school math and science. And it is the triumphant account of a disadvantaged boy who grew into a high-functioning, highly successful adult—perhaps not despite his Asperger’s but because of it, as Page believes. For in the end, it was his all-consuming love of music that emerged as something around which to construct a life and a prodigious career.

In graceful prose, Page recounts the eccentric behavior that withstood glucose-tolerance tests, anti-seizure medications, and sessions with the school psychiatrist, but which above all, eluded his own understanding. A poignant portrait of a lifelong search for answers, Parallel Play provides a unique perspective on Asperger’s and the well of creativity that can spring forth as a result of the condition.
Product Details
Paperback (208 pages)
Published: September 7, 2010
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Anchor
ISBN: 9780767929691
Other books byTim Page
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    The Diaries of Dawn Powell

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    Powell had a brilliant mind and a keen wit and her humor was never at a finer pitch than in her diaries. And yet her story is a poignant one – a son emotionally and mentally impaired, a household of too much alcohol and never enough money, and an artistic career that, if not a failure, fell far short of the success she craved. All is recorded here – along with working sketches for her novels, and often revealing portraits of her many friends (a literary who’s who of her period) – in her always unique style and without self-delusion. With the publication of Tim Page’s biography of Powell planned for this fall, and with all of her best works now back in print, it would appear that Dawn Powell has clearly ‘arrived’ to take her deserved place in American letters. And her remarkable Diaries will stand as one of her finest literary achievements.

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    Robert Ingersoll (1833—1899) is one of the great lost figures in United States history, all but forgotten at just the time America needs him most. An outspoken and unapologetic agnostic, fervent champion of the separation of church and state, and tireless advocate of the rights of women and African Americans, he drew enormous audiences in the late nineteenth century with his lectures on “freethought.” His admirers included Mark Twain and Thomas A. Edison, who said Ingersoll had “all the attributes of a perfect man” and went so far as to make an early recording of Ingersoll’s voice. The publication of What’s God Got to Do with It? will return Robert Ingersoll and his ideas to American political discourse. Edited and with a biographical introduction by Pulitzer Prize winner Tim Page, this new popular collection of Ingersoll’s thought – distilled from the twelve-volume set of his works, his copious letters, and various newspaper interviews – promises to put Ingersoll back where he belongs, in the forefront of independent American thought.

    Glenn Gould Reader

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Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • Prologue -- My second-grade teacher never liked me much, and one assignment I turned in annoyed her so extravagantly that the red pencil with which she scrawled "See me!" broke through...

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  • Preface to the Anchor Books edition -- It is now almost two years since I scribbled down the final words of Parallel Play at a window table in my favorite Baltimore bar. Initial...

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