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 memoir Mordecai & Me: An Appreciation of a Kind. He has written for a variety of publications, including The Village Voice, Chatelaine, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, the National Post, and The Walrus. He is a regular book reviewer for The Montreal Gazette, where he also writes a business column.
“A skeptical, darkly humorous take on autism.” - The Globe and Mail
“If you want a highly readable, informative and, dare say, entertaining telling of what a family, and a marriage especially, goes through when hit with autism spectrum disorders, look no further.” - Winnipeg Free Press
“Joel Yanofsky has taken on just about the hardest of literary tasks, writing about life with an autistic child without succumbing either to sentimentality or bitterness—producing a book that seems both truthful, in its refusal to put too bright a face on a hard reality, and tender, in its insistence on the mysteries of love.” - Adam Gopnik, author of The Table Comes First and Paris to the Moon
Sardonically funny and heartfelt enough to draw tears, an immensely satisfying read for parents of disabled and non-disabled children alike…. A funny, deeply moving and refreshingly honest memoir of raising an autistic child. - Gazette (Montreal)
Writers … show their capacity for greatness when they point their talent at something they love. Joel Yanofsky has done just that: written a marvelous book about a child he adores—his son. - David Gilmour, author of THE FILM CLUB