Cloud Atlas novelist David Mitchell to co-translate breakthrough Japanese 'autism memoir'

 

The Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell and his wife have co-translated an acclaimed book, written by a Japanese child, about his experience of growing up with autism.

Mitchell and his wife, Keiko Yoshida, have translated The Reason I Jump, by Japanese writer Naoki Higishida, who has autism and wrote the book when he was 13 years-old.

The book is intended to explain the behaviour of a child, who was diagnosed with severe autism aged five and to show the way that Naoki responded to the people around him, including his ability to embrace concepts such as self-harm, beauty, noise and time.

Mitchell and Yoshida have a son together, who has been diagnosed with autism and the Booker Prize nominee, who met his wife when he taught English to students in Japan, will write an introduction to the book.

Publishers Sceptre compared the book, published in July, to The Diving-bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominque Bauby, which offered an insight into locked-in syndrome.

Naoki, born in 1992, graduated from high school in 2011 and lives in Kimitsu, Japan. He is a now a motivational speaker and the author of several books of fiction and non-fiction.

Despite a very low verbal fluency, the young Naoki used an alphabet grid to painstakingly spell out his answers to the questions he imagined others most often wonder about him: “why do you talk so loud? Is it true you hate being touched? Would you like to be normal?”

Sceptre said: “Naoki examines issues as diverse and complex as self-harm, perceptions of time and beauty, and the challenges of communication, and in doing so, discredits the popular belief that autistic people are anti-social loners who lack empathy. This book is mesmerising proof that inside an autistic body is a mind as subtle, curious, and caring as anyone else's.”

Yoshida was born in Yamaguchi, Japan and studied English Poetry at Notre Dame Seishin University. She and David Mitchell live with their two children in Ireland.

Mitchell, whose works include the international bestseller The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, auctioned the name of a character in a novel to benefit an autism charity in 2010. The film of Cloud Atlas, a science-fiction epic starring Tom Hanks and set across six different eras, has just opened.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

    Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

    In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
    Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

    How has your club fared in summer sales?

    Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
    Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

    'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

    Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
    The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

    The best swim shorts for men

    Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup