The statistics are grim: today, autism affects 1 in 88 children. And with recent news that the American Psychiatric Association is changing the definition of autism (http://nyti.ms/A9pAmb), the personal stories and the lives behind the statistics and headlines are often lost in a sea of confusion and controversy.
Just in time for Father’s Day, comes the new book SOMEWHERE OVER THE SEA: A FATHER’S LETTER TO HIS AUTISTIC SON by Halfdan W. Freihow (House of Anansi Press; Trade Paperback; June 12, 2012) a deeply moving and elegantly written narrative about hope, faith, and unconditional love.
SOMEWHERE OVER THE SEA is author Halfdan Freihow’s love letter to his young autistic son, Gabriel. Halfdan brings readers on a journey through the ups and downs of living with autism — all from the unique perspective of a father. Witty, sensitive, and tender, Halfdan deftly chronicles Gabriel’s triumphs and disappointments alongside his own joys and frustrations.
In his achingly honest confessional, Halfdan navigates the complex worlds of autism and parenting: struggling to simultaneously make sense of it all for himself and for his son. The author tackles the tough issues: how Gabriel differs from other children, his own sense of otherness as a father, and grief. Yet the richness of childhood magic permeates the book and prose.
SOMEWHERE OVER THE SEA gives us a rare glimpse into the complexity of the father-son relationship — one that is sometimes fraught with misunderstanding, but always bolstered by unconditional love. The haunting rural landscape of the family’s home serves as a powerful backdrop.
Halfdan W. Freihow grew up in Mexico, Norway, Spain, and Belgium and has worked as a publisher, reporter, translator, and literary critic. This is his first book.
In a starred review, Publishers Weekly praised SOMEWHERE OVER THE SEA as “A poetic memoir . . . chronicling the love between a father and his autistic son . . . [author Halfdan Freihow] writes movingly of his family’s day-to-day experiences . . . anyone interested in an intimate, finely crafted family memoir will find this hard to put down.”