Shtum: A funny and uplifting story of families and love – Jem Lester
Download Shtum: A funny and uplifting story of families and love ebook. In the “literary territory of Tony Parsons and Nick Hornby” (Guardian) Shtum is drawn from Jem Lester’s experience of raising an autistic child. In this darkly funny and emotive debut, Ben Jewell has hit a breaking point. His profoundly autistic ten-year-old son, Jonah, has never spoken, and Ben and his wife Emma are struggling to cope. When Ben and Emma fake a separation―a strategic, yet ill-advised, decision to further Jonah’s case in an upcoming tribunal to determine the future of his education―father and son are forced to move in with Georg, Ben’s elderly and cantankerous father. In a small house in north London, three generations of men― one who can’t talk; two who won’t―are thrown together.
As Ben confronts single fatherhood, he must battle a string of well-meaning social workers and his own demons to advocate for his son, learning some harsh lessons about accountability from his own father along the way. As the tribunal draws near, Jonah, blissful in his innocence, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history, and misunderstanding are finally untangled. This “fiercely funny” (The Times) debut examines the complexities of family and human emotion and gives profound insight into an often-misunderstood disorder.
“Whether you think Shtum is a novel about autism or about marriage (it’s both, by the way), you will agree that it is, in the end, a love story infused with wit, charm, and a deep appreciation for the complex beauty of damaged souls.” – Jonathan Tropper, New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where I Leave You
“Will make you laugh, make you cry, make you think.” – Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project
“A moving, darkly funny new novel. . . What Shtum does well, and memorably, is describe the ferocity of attachment a parent feels toward a disabled child. It unsentimentally lays out the terrain such a parent must negotiate both at home and institutionally, and paints a vivid portrait of a family under siege by this most mysterious of contemporary maladies . . . Shtum proposes humor as a balm in even the darkest of situations. If paying detailed attention to one’s characters is a form of love, it is also a powerful, and even remarkable, love letter to a child. ” – Eli Gottlieb, The Washington Post
“An emotional and uplifting tale of love and sacrifice . . . Complex characters and wonderful descriptions combine to create an honest yet blunt portrayal of the trials and triumphs associated with raising a child with autism.” – Publishers Weekly
“Jem Lester writes so beautifully, it feels as if you’re eavesdropping on a conversation. Shtum is a book with true heart and soul, and I loved every word.” – Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep
“Debut author Jem Lester draws on his experience parenting an autistic child in this novel of a father willing to break his own heart to improve his son’s life. . . . While many authors tend to focus on high-functioning autistic characters, Lester shows the other side of parenting a child with special needs . . . Blunt and big-hearted, Shtum contemplates the challenge of understanding those closest to us and the joy of connection.” – Shelf Awareness
“Prepare for an unsweetened heart-shredder of a novel, as raw as it is real. Shtum packs the power of authenticity, but is also beautifully written and tinged with humour like the bite of dark chocolate.” – The Jewish Chronicle
“Shtum is an astonishing book about a father caring for his autistic son . . . about the bonds we share, and what we do for love.” – Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You, on CarolineLeavittville
“Parenting a profoundly autistic child sounds like a subject for heartbreak, not humor, but Jem Lester conveys both in his fascinating Shtum . . . subtly transforming comedy into characters’ pain-revealing drama . . . [Y]ou’ll have to read this masterful book . . . It’s spellbinding.” – American Jewish World
“I wish I wrote this book . . . I was so excited to see a story with a non verbal autistic character―a different autism to the one you see in Curious Incident of the Dog in Night Time, x + y and Rain Man. This is actually a dark comedy, which manages to capture the funny moments that can be so hard to articulate to those outside of the autism community. The whole book is peppered with moments of raw emotion and humanity about family dynamics. You won’t regret reading it.” – HuffPost
Shtum: A funny and uplifting story of families and love ebook pdf, epub, mobi, prc
Jem Lester was a journalist for nine years and saw the Berlin Wall fall in 1989 – and though there, he denies personal responsibility. He was also the last journalist to interview the legendary Fred Zinnemann, before the director died. He denies responsibility for that too. He taught English and Media studies at secondary schools for nine years. Jem has two children, one of whom is profoundly autistic, and for them he accepts total responsibility. He lives in London with his partner and her two children. Jem’s first novel, Shtum, won the 2013 PFD/City University Prize for Fiction.
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