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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Ron Suskind Discusses Life with his Autistic Son

Press Release

The St. Louis County Library Foundation is pleased to present renowned author and journalist Ron Suskind, author of the highly-acclaimed memoir “Life, Animated:  A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism” on Monday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. at Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
The program is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books. The event is co-sponsored by Maryville University.  
What if you were trapped in an animated movie? In all of them, actually–from Dumbo to Peter Pan to The Lion King–and had to learn about life and love mostly from what could be gleaned from animated characters, dancing across a screen of color? Asking this question opens a doorway to one of the most extraordinary stories imaginable.
It is the saga of Owen Suskind, who happens to be the son of one of America’s most noted writers, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind.  He’s also a boy with autism, the signature disorder of this era, now affecting an astonishing one in every 88 children.
What the journey of Owen and the Suskind family powerfully reveals is nothing less than the subtle and startling power of story, itself, in shaping our lives. This is the biography of a seemingly normal boy–who lost all speech at three years of age after the onset of autism–and then relied for years primarily on a diet of myth, fable and legend. He had no choice, and neither did his family, who slowly learned to communicate with him largely by speaking in movie dialogue.
At its core, this stunningly written narrative is about how families define love and success–about how they often find each in darkness and, together, reach for the distant light of a shared destiny.  It’s also about hope. A family was struck, as a boy disappeared before their eyes, vanishing into an abyss of confusion and silence. But deep inside the prison of autism, he was working, year by year, trial by trial, on a most improbable project: a way each of us can learn to animate our lives and live our most fervent dreams.
Ron Suskind is the author of four New York Times bestsellers and the critically acclaimed, “A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League.” His other books include, “Confidence Men,” “The Way of the World,” “The One Percent Doctrine” and “The Price of Loyalty. He was the senior national affairs writer for The Wall Street Journal, where he won the Pulitzer Prize, and is currently the Senior Fellow at Harvard's Center for Ethics.
Program sites are accessible. Upon two weeks notice, accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities. Contact St. Louis County Library by phone 314-994-3300 or visit