SIATE DIVERSI Storie di una vita con l’Asperger BE DIFFERENT comes to Italy

On June 6 the folks at Armando Editore have released my book BE DIFFERENT in Italian translation.    It's called SIATE DIVERSI Storie di una vita con l’Asperger  The book was translated my Maria Vacari in cooperation with my friends at Gruppo Asperger.  My friend Ilaria read this message at the book's release party in Rome:

I’d like to welcome you to the coming-out party for the Italian translation of my book, BE DIFFERENT.  I’d like to thank my friend Ilaria Minio Paluello at Sapienza University of Rome, who’s introducing my book to you tonight, and my friends all over Italy at Gruppo Asperger.  It was they who brought this idea to my Italian publisher, and made the whole thing possible.

Thanks to my Italian publisher too.  We wouldn’t be here without them!

I only wish I was able to join you in person tonight!   Ten years ago I would have been scared to travel so far.  Now, I travel all over the world, and I welcome the chance.   I had a great time when I came to your country last year, as guest of Ilaria, Gruppo Asperger, and Sapienza University.  I got to see Borghese park, the famous Milan train station, the Port of Genoa, and I got to ride a locomotive through the mountains to Torino!  It just goes to show . . . old dogs CAN learn new tricks.   I’m 55 years old and I learn new stuff all the time.

Some of you have read my earlier book Look Me in the Eye, my life with Asperger’s.  In that book I tell the story of growing up alone, isolated by a form of autism no one recognized; certain that I was defective.  As a small boy, my autism was purely a disability.

Things changed in my teen years.  My autistic isolation left me free to study the things I loved, like electronics and music.  My autistic power of concentration made me very good at that indeed.  I joined and band, and by age twenty one, I was touring the world with KISS and Britannia Row Audio, Pink Floyd’s sound company.

I went on to work as an engineer, and to found a business that restores European cars.  In fact, we have a fine Fiat 500 and a rare Ferrari Mondial at work right now!

When people read that book, they said, “I want to know how you did it!   How did you get a job?  How did you get a girlfriend?  How did you live on your own?”

BE DIFFERENT answers those questions.

At least, I hope it does.  I can’t read Italian, and for all I know, they have swapped my words for a bunch of pornography.  I guess you’ll have to read it and see for yourself.

Before I began writing pornography, I took every way that autism can affect us, and I wrote stories showing how each of those things affected me.  In some cases I show how I minimized my disability.  Other times, I show how I found a gift.  Often, autism provides a mix of both things.  You may have seen that in your own lives, and those around you.

BE DIFFERENT covers many important topics
  • How to make yourself choosable
  • Using pliers to fix a bully problem
  • Getting and keeping a job
  • Emotions and how to understand them
  • The world of sensory sensitivity
  • Finding your gifts and talents.

It’s my guide to making your best life by being who you are – unique and different. 

Obviously there’s more than that.  It is, after all, a complete book.  You’ll have to buy a copy to learn the rest.

I hope you enjoy it.

And I hope to see you in person, as soon as we can work out a return.  Meanwhile, feel free to write me on facebook, or my blog. 

Best wishes and chow

John Elder Robison


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