Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism (2020)

Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism Dawn Prince-Hughes Songs of the Gorilla Nation My Journey Through Autism This is a book about autism Specifically it is about my autism which is both like and unlike other people s autism But just as much it is a story about how I emerged from the darkness of it into th
  • Title: Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism
  • Author: Dawn Prince-Hughes
  • ISBN: 9781400050581
  • Page: 369
  • Format: Hardcover
Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism Dawn Prince-Hughes This is a book about autism Specifically, it is about my autism, which is both like and unlike other people s autism But just as much, it is a story about how I emerged from the darkness of it into the beauty of it In this elegant and thought provoking memoir, Dawn Prince Hughes traces her personal growth from undiagnosed autism to the moment when, as a young woman, sh This is a book about autism Specifically, it is about my autism, which is both like and unlike other people s autism But just as much, it is a story about how I emerged from the darkness of it into the beauty of it In this elegant and thought provoking memoir, Dawn Prince Hughes traces her personal growth from undiagnosed autism to the moment when, as a young woman, she entered the Seattle Zoo and immediately became fascinated with the gorillas.Having suffered from a lifelong inability to relate to people in a meaningful way, Dawn was surprised to find herself irresistibly drawn to these great primates By observing them and, later, working with them, she was finally able to emerge from her solitude and connect to living beings in a way she had never previously experienced.Songs of the Gorilla Nation is than a story of autism, it is a paean to all that is important in life Dawn Prince Hughes s evocative story will undoubtedly have a lasting impact, forcing us, like the author herself, to rediscover and assess our own understanding of human emotion.
Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism Dawn Prince-Hughes

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    Dawn Prince-Hughes

One thought on “Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism

  1. Molly

    I grew up knowing I was different, but, thanks to my classmates, my extent of understanding of myself was that I was a freak In eighth grade, I was diagnosed with Aspergers, but never really understood any of what that meant In eleventh grade, I discovered this book in my school library For the first time in my life, I finally understood who I was and WHY I was different return Though we ll never meet, and you ll probably never read these words, thank you Dawn for helping me feel not so alone in [...]

  2. Sue

    I found this book really remarkable Dawn Prince Hughes has a form of autism called Asperger s Syndrome, which is a less noticeable form of autism You might know someone with Asperger s and merely think they are eccentric or sometimes uncommunicative, and barely sociable, fascinating in their detailed interest in something or other descriptions that can describe peculiarities She is a wonderful writer, and even if you don t think you are interested in autism, if you like memoir s, I very highly r [...]

  3. Lobeck

    I couldn t put this book down The author of the book and main character, Dawn Prince Hughes, describes her experience of growing up autistic, which is an amazing mind opener for those who have never experienced it It is through observing gorillas at a zoo that she finally begins to understand human connection This is a beautiful story about Prince Hughes s life, and it has allowed me to understand autism and accept it as simply a different way of being in the world.

  4. A

    I found it almost impossible to review this book straight away, because there aspects of it I strongly dislike and aspects that I find very valuable.I think it is an important book It gives a great glimpse into one person s reality of coming of age with undefined high functioning autism Most importantly, it describes a strategy for overcoming autistic isolation Not a cure but a way to kick start the positive feedback loop of social relationships that social learning requires in order to happen.D [...]

  5. Leanna Manuel

    While traveling to Arizona a while back I read Songs of the Gorilla Nation My Journey Through Autism by Dawn Prince Hughes, Ph.D As the secondary title indicates, this is a first hand account of autism The author offers a vivid and insightful account of Asperger s Syndrome.She was diagnosed rather late in her life, after a childhood punctuated by misunderstanding and isolation Fortunately, she was able to learn about human socialization and relationships through her keen observation of gorilla c [...]

  6. Robert

    Song of the Gorilla Nation by Dawn Prince Hughes is not just about what is like to be a person with Asperger s Syndrome whose disability led to her become a homeless street kid whose falling in love with gorillas freed her soul so that she could become a university instructor of anthropology, a loving spouse, and a mom That alone would make it a fascinating read It is a meditation about personhood, including parenthood, about valuing uniqueness and not letting ourselves exile and exploit fellow [...]

  7. Irene

    Wow This is quite a book The author has a remarkable tale to tell and she tells is beautifully It is a story of growing up with undiagnosed autism Asberger s Syndrome , of finding herself, of her work with apes But it is so much than that She is a poet and wrote prolifically in her journals from an early age She shares many poems in the course of telling her story She is a survivor She used the positive attributes of her autism to cope with the pain and confusion it caused as she struggled to l [...]

  8. Ruthie

    This is a really cool view into the mind of an autistic woman I love that she gives you a new perspective on the thought processes of someone with Asperger s Syndrome than what you hear about in the media I also loved her relationship with the gorillas and I definitely think of them differently now.I happened upon this book when I was desperate for something to read while on vacation because the books I was finding in hostels were totally lame and the one I brought just wasn t capturing my atten [...]

  9. Lindsay

    Songs of the Gorilla Nation is a must read for anyone who thinks they know what autism is, or who thinks there is a clear dividing line between human and animal It s the story of Dawn Prince Hughes s journey from the darkness of autism into its beauty, with a group of gorillas helping her along the way It s fascinating to see Prince Hughes explain why she was able to have meaningful interactions with the gorillas at a time when she couldn t yet handle human contact Her testimony here is a valuab [...]

  10. Steph (loves water)

    FABULOUS, incredible must read for anyone who knows someone who has a family member or friend on the Autism spectrum, is interested in conservation of endangered animals, or spirituality Dr Prince Hughes writes an eloquent, honest memoir that puts to rest the idea that ASD folks are different, stupid, weird, or wrong and brings hope for a better future in which our society treats each other with dignity and respect.I could not put this book down I ve learned so much and am forever grateful for f [...]

  11. Amy Alstrum

    This book was beautiful and so very meaningful to me If you don t understand or have experience with autism, you may find the writing style a bit difficult to follow, but the author s voice and experiences are so worth any effort you may put in to understand her.

  12. Caren

    This was a book that had two intersecting themes the author s experience with Asperger s and her experience with and subsequent research about gorillas Her observations of gorillas in a zoo helped her learn to relate to those around her, human and otherwise, and to better understand her own unconventional orientation toward living To me, some of her difficulties were not only with her autistic orientation, but with the poor way it was handled Certainly, not as much was known at the time she was [...]

  13. rosamund

    I heard about this several years ago I spoke to my friend about autism, and she suggested this book as she knows I have an interest in great apes as well, and this book combines the two subjects I did not seek it out until just now I wish I had read it sooner.Prince Hughes writes a lot about captive gorillas and their rights to personhood I love reading about her close observation of the gorillas, the unique insight they gave her into her self, and how she developed such strong relationships wit [...]

  14. Carol Meyer

    An odd, wonderful book Dr Prince Hughes journey from childhood through her eventual success as a primate researcher is at times painful as she documents bullying and assaults from her teachers and classmates, substance abuse, homelessness, and experience in the sex trade It is difficult to read as an obviously talented and intelligent individual is so misused by those who do not understand her and those she does not understandHer experience with watching gorillas in the zoo started her on the lo [...]

  15. Laura

    This book was mildly interesting, but very slow and just wasn t keeping my attention And to be fair I started reading the Twilight series half way through this book and then just couldn t get back into it, it couldn t compete with how awesome and intense the Twilight series was and so I gave it one shot after those 4 books and then just gave up Sadly I never actually finished reading it I work with autistic children daily so I thought this would be an interesting book, but being that it was sum [...]

  16. Naomi

    3.31.13 I love this book so much I have a client, an adult woman with autism, and her biggest desire is to find her people and to connect with them in ways meaningful to her She even made it one of her ISP goals This book is making me feel so much heartache and joy simultaneously, and some lightbulbs are going off for me as well I am grateful for Dawn Prince Hughes for writing this book I also acknowledge her message that this is her autism story and am striving to not make inaccurate generaliza [...]

  17. Andrea

    This is the story of journey from childhood to adulthood, however it has a detailed and insightful biography of a lady with Asperger s Syndrome I was gripped by this book as I have worked with children and have known adults who have Asperger s it is a very frank and interesting story of Dawn Hughs who describes actions, thoughts and experiences that recognise of the people I have worked with Her passion and understanding for gorillas alone is a fascinating read and to add to that the insight int [...]

  18. Mary Whisner

    Not diagnosed with Asberger s Syndrome until her late 30s, the author had a childhood that was often painful but also sensitive to beauty She left school and family at 16 and spent years wandering the country, often living on the streets She landed in Seattle and, while working as an exotic dancer, began visiting the Woodland Park Zoo, eventually getting a job there Her bonds with the gorillas opened her up to relationships with a primate species that had always baffled her humans A well written [...]

  19. Sara

    I had this book on my shelf for a while after my dad lent it to me so it was nice to finally cross it off It wasn t bad My mom is an EA so she works with those with disabilities etc so I ve always considered myself having an understanding on those who have Autism which I find can be an entitled position to be in But this work gave a good insight into what it is like to have Autism Went against the stereotypes and my beliefs around Autism and what they are capable of namely the exotic dancer care [...]

  20. Jerry Rose

    the topics and themes of book really hit close to home as a monkey lover and cousin to an autistic The life that Austitic Dr Hughes gave me a ton of hope for the future of my cousin He has been told he is incapable his whole life, hopefully, its not too late to change that Interesting revelations from the Songs of a Gorilla Nation young inexperienced females feel discomfort around the proximity of a mate, not knowing what to do and eventually walking away or acting brashly autistics contemplate [...]

  21. Judy Frey

    My second book in a row that was written by someone with autism It is truly fascinating to read of their understanding of how it feels to be on the spectrum how it affects their lives, their friends, their families Dawn had a very difficult time because she simply knew she was very different she did not receive a diagnosis until adulthood She is extremely bright and earned a Ph D through individual mentoring rather than attending large classes, something she simply couldn t handle She has a part [...]

  22. Kathy

    A life with a neurological difference can be so isolating, which is why the author s discovery of an ability to connect with the gorillas at the Woodland Park Zoo in Tacoma made such a difference in her life Her work there has led to some spectacular insights about autism, anthrolopology, and gender identification I love that she makes it clear that she is writing her own experience with autism, not a handbook on autism spectrum disorders She makes a strong case for ending slavery of primates an [...]

  23. Marcus Clark

    This is an interesting autobiography of a woman with Asperger s Syndrome, and how her relationship with gorillas eased her acceptance into human society Asperger s was only classified as a dis ability in 1994 and so we have the situation of people like Susan Boyle who were not classified until three years ago That is they lived for 51 years, aware that something was dreadfully wrong with them, but they did not know what it was, nor did anyone else.Autistic people are often described as on the sp [...]

  24. l.

    I would give it four stars but for the thoughtless white ARA bit at the end Many times I have been reading a book on the justifications given for human slavery in the antebellum south or one on our current justifications for having apes in captivity, and I have had to flip the book jacket to remember which i was reading about why are white ARAs like this.

  25. Celia

    This was an interesting memoir on one hand, it was an story of the author coming to terms with her autism through her work with gorillas, and feeling comfortable in the way she interacts with people She makes a good argument for people with autism seeing the world differently, and not in a way that needs to be fixed The second half of the book seems to concentrate much on Dawn s work with the gorilla nation , as she terms it she refers to the gorilla man , the chimpanzee woman , the intelligen [...]

  26. Pam

    Dawn Prince Hughes incredible life story is a tragic one despite ending well Without the support from her family and educators, she almost was lost forever and doomed to homelessness and sexual exploitation As detractors have noted, yes this book wanders a bit, it deals with very uncomfortable issues, and is too detailed in many places Likewise, she fails to explain much about her home life and many years are lost in the narrative but that is what our memories are like and it is what the author [...]

  27. Mom

    In this memoir, Dawn Prince Hughes describes her childhood as an undiagnosed autistic girl, her difficult adolescence, her eventual diagnosis at 37 as having Asperger s, and her current life as a mother and an anthropologist.As a child with undiagnosed autism, unable to understand human emotions or social interactions, Dawn was isolated and bullied In early adulthood, she got a job at a zoo and as she observed studied gorilla behavior, she finally began to understand human relationships The stor [...]

  28. Ellis Amdur

    Lyrically written book by a woman who has Asperger s Syndrome so called high functioning autism She is intellectually brilliant, and yet, finds many aspects of life among humans to be overwhelming This is a life story, where she describes becoming socialized through contact with gorillas at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington She is currently an anthropologist, and an advocate for the position that the great apes are, in fact, human in all the ways we define ourselves There are times wh [...]

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