Saturday, February 21, 2009

Embracing the Wide Sky German Edition

I'll be in Hamburg, Germany, next week to promote the German edition of 'Embracing the Wide Sky' entitled 'Wolkenspringer' (cloud jumper!) Here's what the book looks like:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

CBC Hour photos on Flickr

A set of photos from my interview on CBC's 'The Hour' with George Stroumboulopoulos has been put up by the production team on Flickr:

Monday, February 09, 2009

Interview in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Here's an interview I recently gave on my book (German translation available by Patmos, entitled Wolkenspringer) and ideas: (type 'Tammet' to find article - the link is too long to include in full here!)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Globe and Mail bestseller!

'Embracing the Wide Sky' has made the Globe & Mail bestseller list in Canada:

Book Review in the 'Telegraph'

A book review for 'Embracing the Wide Sky' was published this last weekend in the 'Telegraph' (UK). A few extracts:

"He tells us that people with autism can be abundantly creative. If we think of the condition simply as one that leads people to take in a whole world of information without editing the irrelevant bits, and making the connections necessary to make sense of, say, social situations, we’re missing something exciting. It’s the connections somebody with the condition does make that are important. After all, poets link the unexpected because they make associations between parts of their experience that are often disparate. Tammet quotes from the Borges story “Funes the Memorious”: “He remembered the shapes of the clouds in the south at dawn on April 20, 1882, and he could compare them in his recollection with the marble grain in the design of a leather-bound book which he had seen only once.”

Here, Tammet is telling us about the benefits of forgetting, but it serves his purpose about the links, too. The way he remembers so many numbers, or the succession of American presidents, or masters languages, is to make this information part of a coherent world, and he reminds us that “these dots of data make most sense when they contribute to something greater than ourselves”."

"The book is full of information such as this, packed with his clear summaries of fascinating experiments. Does the principle behind six degrees of separation work? Can babies count? Will computers ever hold a conversation? Can you think in two ways at once? At times the nuggets he gives us can seem like diverting trivia, and there’s a pleasing amount here that looks like digression but isn’t, so we can enjoy the splendour with which it all coheres, just as the author does."

"Recent debate has bumped up this book from delightful to vital, because we are learning that it is possible to scan babies in utero to see how likely it is that they have autism. If you read Embracing the Wide Sky you might well wonder what the point would be. For one thing, as Tammet points out, there are as many sorts of autism as there are people with autism, so perhaps these tests won’t tell us much. And for another thing, as the author demonstrates, the joys that a brain and its insights can bring, be it in Bach or prime numbers, can be intense and life-affirming, whether you’re ordinary, extraordinary, or both at once."

You can read the whole review here: