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Publisher's Summary

A “beautiful and astonishing” (Walter Isaacson, # 1 New York Times bestselling author of The Code Breaker) narrative that examines the many ways to be fully human, told by the first young adult with autism to attend Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

As a child, Jory Fleming was wracked by uncontrollable tantrums, had no tolerance for people, and couldn’t manage the outside world. Slightly more than a decade later, he was bound for England, selected to attend one of the world’s premier universities.

How to Be Human is a “profound, thought-provoking” (Barry M. Pizant, PhD, author of Uniquely Human) exploration of life amid a world constructed for neurotypical brains when yours is not. But the miracle of this book is that instead of dwelling on Jory’s limitations, those who inhabit the neurotypical world will begin to better understand their own: they will contemplate what language cannot say, how linear thinking leads to dead ends, and how nefarious emotions can be, particularly when, in Jory’s words, they are “weaponized.” Through a series of deep, personal conversations with writer Lyric Winik, Jory makes a compelling case for logical empathy based on rational thought, asks why we tolerate friends who see us as a means to an end, and explains why he believes personality is a choice. Most movingly, he discusses how, after many hardships, he maintains a deep, abiding faith: “With people, I don’t understand what goes in and what comes out, and how to relate,” he says. “But I can always reconnect with my relationship with my Creator.”

Join Jory and Lyric as they examine what it means to be human and ultimately how each of us might become a better one. Jory asks us to consider: Who has value? What is a disability? And how do we correct the imbalances we see in the world? How to Be Human shows us the ways a beautifully different mind can express the very best of our shared humanity.

©2021 Jory Fleming. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about How to Be Human

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Revealing

I watched Mr. Fleming interview with Walter Isaacson and was astonished by his honest answers and wanted to hear more from him.
The book was a great learning experience both about autism and the authors' perception of neurotypicals.
I believe this is a book that can benefit both sides.
He encourages self awereness, and invites us to a deep conversation to what society considers normal or acceptable.
It blows my mind that someone who says he struggles with words can be so eloquent and write such an inspiring book!

15 people found this helpful

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Must read to understand Neuro-Atypical

I appreciated Jory's ability to discuss his mental inner workings with clarity and truth. I feel more knowledgeable about autism spectrum but realize that individuals are still just that. Jory gives me hope for the future because I hope that his journey will give others courage to emerge from beneath surface to discover that their brains are just different and not broken.

12 people found this helpful

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weaknesses are strengths

this book not only gave me insight to others but also to myself. It gives me light, brightness, honesty, understanding hope and joy. highly recommend this book.

10 people found this helpful

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this is one of the most insightful and thought provoking books i have ever encountered.

this is one of the most insightful and thpught provoking books I have ever encountered. I have listened to it twice (so far)!

7 people found this helpful

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Thank You......!

This book is amazing and refreshing ....!
I find this book very helpful ! Thanks for writing it.....!

6 people found this helpful

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Wonderful book

Very touching book, which made me laugh at times out of compassion.

Many of his descriptions I easily could relate

It inspires to take a step back and reflect

6 people found this helpful

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Makes you think & laugh

I caught myself laughing quietly to myself multiple times.
Also very much enjoyed the explanations & flow of thoughts.

5 people found this helpful

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New take from an Aspie

This book by Jory is a new take on high functioning autism or previously known as Asperger Syndrome which has been removed from ASD classification in latest DSM edition. Many books about Asperger affliction have previously been written by Temple Grandin and John Elder Robison.

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Probably better to read than listen

and I love to listen. But I just can’t continue. Winik is loud, slow, and overly annunciates as if she were reading to a second grade class. I respect the time and effort she must have put into this project and love the subject matter. I was so looking forward to learning from this. And I did. But the experience is just ruined when having to constantly adjust the sound and speed between Fleming’s calm, conversational delivery and Winik’s abrasive one.

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wish it was his book

this book would have gotten five stars if it was just Jory's part. I don't need the lady explaining each question, and I don't like asking his mother for her perspective on a time he neither remembers nor was able to communicate.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Matthew Hill
  • 06-12-22

Simply great literature and clarity

Simply great literature and clarity. Finding and enjoying one of these things is often hard. Though this book has both 😅