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FiveBooks: Simon Baron-Cohen

A leading thinker recommends five works about their field of interest. This month, the topic is Autism and Asperger syndrome

By Prospect   September 2010

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (2003) By Mark Haddon

This book’s main character is a 15-year-old boy, Christopher, with Asperger syndrome. He’s completely confused by the social interactions of people but precocious in mathematics. The book describes, albeit fictionally, the disconnect between his understanding of systems—in this case mathematical, numerical systems—and his difficulties with understanding people. There’s also an extra element, in that Christopher is a victim of domestic violence at the hands of his father, so when the reader is trying to figure out what’s causing what, it’s quite difficult to disentangle. It’s a book…

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