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kathy lette - the boy who fell to earth

michaelz's picture

kathy lette - the boy who fell to earth

Fri 2 Mar 2012 11:24am

Kathy Lette is famous for her trademark wit and as the prolific and successful author of many novels primarily aimed at a female readership, from “Girls’ Night Out” to “Mad Cows” and “Foetal Attraction”.

But now she is turning to very personal territory in her new book, “The Boy Who Fell to Earth”. It’s the story of the relationship between a mother, Lucy, and her son, Merlin, who has Asperger’s.

Kathy too has a son with autism. She joins Jenni to talk about the extraordinary highs and lows of parenting a child who is capable of moments of brilliance and moments of agonising anxiety.



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  • michaelz's picture

    audio now online (from weekend edition - first item) - until saturday.


  • MikeS's picture

    Thanks, Michael. I listened to that BBC interview. Very interesting - she sounds like a good mum :).

    - Mike 

    Mike Stuart
    Community Manager
    Talk about Autism 

    Mike - Former Community Manager
  • michaelz's picture

    there's a long article ...The heating in Kathy Lette’s north London home is on...in the sunday telegraph's stella magazine but i can't find it online except at press display.


    kathy engages in some retro-diagnosis, saying h.g.wells, orwell and van gogh were all asperger's.


    ...Emily Mortimer is now moving into film production. The 40-year-old daughter of the playwright Sir John Mortimer has bought the film rights to Kathy Lette’s new novel, The Boy Who Fell to Earth, about a middle-class mother’s coping alone with an autistic child...


  • michaelz's picture

    "...aspergic people have no filter..."


    not sure that's true - i used to be more-or-less mute when i was at school.


  • michaelz's picture
  • michaelz's picture

    radio interview - i hour and 36 minutes into show - broadcast originally at 14.36 hours approx - tuesday 2nd april 2013 - lbc.co.uk - kathy says "putting children with autism into ordinary schools is pointless" - http://lbc.audioagain.com

    Wed 3rd Apr 2013 @ 16:20.04 - 2h 14m 41s

    This audio requires a subscription


    Aasmah Mir in for Julia - are the coalition's welfare reforms fair?
    From: Julia Hartley-Brewer - The Whole Show >>
    Join Julia every afternoon 1-4
    Tue 2nd Apr 2013 @ 16:47.18 - 2h 8m 1s



  • michaelz's picture
  • michaelz's picture

    letter in the daily mail - thursday april 11.


    I appreciated Kathy Lette’s account of coping with autism through the experience of her son, Jules (mail).

    I can empathise only too well with the difficulty one experiences coping with a syndrome that is often dismissed as a character defect.

    I’m 61 and autistic. Kathy’s determination in support of ‘who’ (his personality) her son is over ‘what’ (autistic) was uplifting.

    I consider myself an intelligent, articulate individual, who has survived the torment of being derided as ‘retarded’ throughout my school years.

    I was bullied to a level comparable with anything Jules has undergone — often a lot worse — without being able to rely on my parents’ support.

    They were the product of a generation that venerated the professions and consequently if the school assured them that bullying didn’t happen, they believed this.

    despite a lack of formal education, I attained a Bachelor of arts (Ba) degree from the open university, graduating in 2008.

    This accomplishment is highly satisfying and allows me to reassure parents of children with highfunctioning (mine and what appears to be Jules’s form) autism that much can be achieved with the level of support and tenacity Kathy clearly possesses.

    I, too, have written about my experience — warts and all — of coping with autism, which I call The Hydra, an analogy explained in the introduction to my autobiography surviving The Hydra.

    Rather than risk the rejection of indifferent agents and publishers (perhaps unfairly, but autism tends to stifle tenacity), I opted for online publishing. my memoir, subtitled a Personal Journey Through The Nature and Nurture of autism, is available on amazon and can be read on Kindle.

    I can empathise with much of what Kathy wrote about, albeit from a different generation. It is sad to think that the problems persist. meanwhile, the mail should be commended for providing autistic folk such as me and Jules with the one means that can make a long-term difference and, hopefully, dispel prejudice: a voice.

    DOUG MILNE, Weymouth, Dorset.

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  • linzielegs's picture

    Wow! I can't wait for that one to come out, love her books Smile


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