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Nobody Nowhere: The Remarkable Autobiography of an Autistic Girl

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,701 Ratings  ·  151 Reviews
Donna Williams was a child with more labels than a jam-jar: deaf, wild disturbed, stupid insane... She lived within herself, her own world her foreground, ours a background she only visited. Isolated from her self and from the outside world, Donna was, in her words, a Nobody Nowhere. She swung violently between these two worlds, battling to join our world and, simultaneous ...more
Published December 1st 1998 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers (first published April 23rd 1992)
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Donna Williams wasn’t diagnosed with autism until she was in her mid-late twenties – and she self-diagnosed at that point and had already written her autobiography, which she then shared with a physician who told her that it should be published. She had a very rocky childhood with a mother and older brother who were at least verbally abusive (her mother was also occasionally physically abusive). Donna’s relationship with her father was better, but he remained aloof or distant. She spent some tim ...more
Faith Spinks
Jun 06, 2017 Faith Spinks rated it really liked it
A fascinating glimpse into the world of autism.
En Hikmah
Jun 28, 2007 En Hikmah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: human_being
I read the Indonesia version.
Yang paling menakjubkan saya rasakan secara pribadi adalah kemampuannya bertahan dan mwujudkan cita-cita. Dalam keterbatasan yang luar biasa menyulitkan baik diri sendiri maupun orang lain, tapi Donna Williams bisa terus bergerak dan melakukan hal-hal yang dia inginan. Memperoleh pendidikan seperti orang lain, bekerja seperti orang lain dan hidup seperti orang lain, dnegan kemampuannya sendiri. Dan yang istimewa lagi...dia bisa berkeliling dunia bahkan dengan keadaan
Feb 06, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book in my university library whilst researching a project; the title and picture got me hooked so I read it as a break from my studies.
To me, this book was incredibly moving, not least due to personal experiences with autistic children. I found it gave me an ability to relate to these children better. This book also lends credence to the theory that autistic children do not lack an ability to feel emotion but rather that they are overcome by it. An utterly captivating, sometimes e
Nanny SA
Dec 18, 2008 Nanny SA rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
Kisah perjuangan seorang gadis autis yang terlahir dari keluarga miskin dan hidup teraniaya. Menambah pengetahuan tentang anak autis., layak untuk dibaca oleh orang tua atau pendidik yang menangani autis.

"aku tidak tahu bagaimana menuntut untuk dipahami. Aku tersesat, terjebak dan aku sedang membuat pernyataan..Waktu itu usiaku 9 tahun dan aku hampir-hampir dikirim ke rumah sakit jiwa .."
Aug 21, 2009 Lelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Batinku sakit melihat kedua staf membombardir gadis kecil itu dengan tubuh mereka, napas mereka, bau mereka, tawa mereka, gerakan dan kebisingan mereka. Seperti orang gila, menggoyang-goyangkan mainan ular dan berbagai objek lain ke muka si gadis; seperti sepasang penyihir yang terlalu bersemangat dan berharap mampu menghancurkan pengaruh jahat autisme, seperti ahli bedah yang mengoperasi dengan alat-alat berkebun tanpa menggunakan obat bius. Dan gadis kecil itu berteriak: tubuhnya bergoyang-goy ...more
Jigme Datse
This was a bit of an odd read. I read it just after reading Somebody Somewhere: Breaking Free from the World of Autism, and it was kind of doing that "backwards". I read it that order because for some reason while trying to pick up this book, I ended up with the other one. Which of course was fine.

I found this one was not *quite* the "this is the book for me" as the continuation in Somebody Somewhere. I'm not really sure what kind of was "missing" here, or what was here which was "bothering" me.
This book--along with Someone Somewhere--is difficult to get through. It chronicles the life of the author, starting with an abusive and horrible childhood that is at times, very difficult to get through. It is certainly not a typical account of autism, with the author being at least very high functioning. I was not sure at all reading the book if the author was autistic, but she definitely has her difficulties. What is insightful in the book is the explanation and description of sensory process ...more
Sep 02, 2014 Gina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a bit of a hard read. At first, I thought it had to do with reading about the devastating home life Donna had to put up with in her growing-up years. But as I got into the last third of the book, it just felt more like a slogging through. I know it's an autobiography, but even still, such accounts usually have a strong tie-together; common themes that yield some sort of self-discovery or grand life lesson. I felt like that wasn't very apparent here. I just kept reading about Donna's att ...more
Rodney Likaku
Jun 08, 2015 Rodney Likaku rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I did not know I had a love for reading; when I read past my bedtime in boarding school; when I stole books for the library because this was in the A Level Students only section; when I thought smiling must be easy for everyone; when I still used words such as : weird, imperfect, quirky against others; when the world spun only around me; when I did not know that one day I would write with feeling; when I did not know I would teach others to read. I read this because I thoug ...more
This book is interesting for me, because I work with students with autism. It was difficult to read at times, because the author has suffered a great deal of abuse throughout her life, and so it was heavy. But there were gems in there - answers to why she did the things I see my students doing, which were well worth the read.

If nothing else, the two sections after the conclusion of her story at the back, where she describes the meaning of her "language" and tips for interacting with and influen
Karen Yarrington
Amazing book for anyone who loves an autistic person! If you ever want to delve into an autistic's mysterious world--read this book. It's the story of Donna, who was very abused and misunderstood while growing up in "her world" and yet was able to figure out for herself that everyone else lived in a different world--"the world". Many severely autistic people have a hard time understanding, let alone explaining, this difference to us--most don't even want to try. She is a gift!
Ilie Ruby
May 17, 2010 Ilie Ruby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brava. Brava. Brava. A rare and believable look into the world of an autistic woman that found her way out of this daunting condition. Williams writes with unmistakable clarity and eloquence as she illuminates a rarely seen journey.

This is not to be surpassed by her next book [Somebody Somewhere:]. A must-read for anyone who is interested in the dynamic associations of perception and sensory processing conditions.
Jan 27, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another of many books I have read, because I have a child with autism. Ms. Williams' account is enlightening and heart breaking and a must read for any person working with or living with someone afflicted with autism. Her insights will enlighten and educate others about the complicated, mysterious affliction growing too rapidly in our country to ignore any longer.
Jul 19, 2016 Ines rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
non ho parole per descrivere la sensazione che si prova leggendo questo libro.....mi sento una nullità di fronte alla normale vita quotidiana e alle sfide insormontabili che alcune persone devono affrontare nei piccoli gesti del vivere.....
Dio nostro, un giorno ci spiegherai perchè a ciascuno il proprio destino??
Janina Lenciano
Jan 14, 2015 Janina Lenciano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
A great book to take a peek in a very unique world. I salute Donna Williams for being strong despite everything she had experienced.
May 02, 2015 Colleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was really interesting. I would definitely recommend it. It was cool to see how Donna viewed the world and how she overcame different things throughout her life.
May 13, 2017 Marisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This autobiography is compelling, it draws the reader in. It tells the story of an autistic woman who only as an adult finds out that this is the label that best fits her. I don't agree with some of the reviews here that this book is an "awkward fiction" rather than an accurate account of autism. Donna does not even use the label until towards the end of the book, so it is unlikely she was simply trying to capitalize on the label to write a book. The book relates how she grapples with being diff ...more
Daniel L.
From a Nobody Nowhere to a Somebody Somewhere

Part I. Nobody Nowhere

There is no typical person with autism; yet, like many people on the spectrum, Donna Williams was distant from the world. That was her world. A gifted writer, Donna sought to reconcile her world with the world around her.

Donna, like many people with autism, often had difficulty in perceiving and understanding other people’s speech and facial expressions. Yet, she felt extremely motivated to try—and be like them. And she drew up
Iona  Stewart
Aug 08, 2011 Iona Stewart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is quite a challenging book for me to review. It is an autobiographical account by an Australian girl called Donna who has "characters",as she terms them, named Carol and Willie.

Donna adopted the identity of these "characters" at times of need, Willie appeared to her when she was about two and "was no more than a pair of piercing green eyes whcih could only be seen in the darkness". Willie became the self Donna directed to the outside world, with his glaring eyes and clenched fists. Willie
Feb 17, 2017 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read this book so I could enter the autistic world and be able to better understand it. I'm amazed at the resilience of this woman and very grateful that she wrote about her inner life because I suspect there may be some of the autistic spectrum in some of my relatives. Up until now, I feel I have not been successful in my communication with them. Hopefully I will learn to be more successful in the future, armed with what I learned from this book. An additional bonus for me was the r ...more
Vannessa Anderson
Author Donna Williams had traced some of her symptoms to certain food allergies that caused her brain to react badly when its vitamin supply was insufficient.

Bernard Rimland, Ph.D. found that some children’s behavior improved greatly when common foods such as cow’s milk, wheat, eggs, etc., were removed from their diet. He also found that many autistic children and adults needed larger amounts of Vitamin B6 and Magnesium. Further that autism is obviously biochemical. I recommend reading Mother Wa
Feb 24, 2017 Clare rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A real insight into Autism. Very well written with honesty.
Mar 23, 2013 Liz rated it liked it
I thought this book was very insightful. It was a good read and I read it in no time. Bite size chapters I find helps with this.
I would however warn people that may be reading it, as I was, for an insight into the mind of an autistic/aspergers individual. In the case of Donna Williams, she suffered a very traumatic childhood and also had numerous food allergies thus exacerbating her condition. Not to mention taking place a long time ago when it was relatively unknown. It is helpful to learn the
kisah luar biasa yang diceritakan dengan cara yang membosankan

Donna Williams merasa 'mati' saat ia berumur tiga tahun
Donna menjadi Willie saat dunia menyentuhnya, menyiksanya, meledeknya
Donna menjadi Carol saat ia ingin dunia menerimanya
Donna menjadi Donna saat ia sendiri

Ketidakadilan yang dialami Donna akan perlakuan ibunya, kakak dan adik lakilakinya
Ketidakberdayaan ayahnya untuk melindunginya dari kekejaman dunia

Donna berjuang
Agar Willie dan Carol tidak hilang dari diirnya
Agar Donna yang kata
D Cox
Jun 13, 2013 D Cox rated it really liked it
I was asked to read a book dealing with special need in order to increase my awareness for teacher training. I had already read Mark Haddon's Curious Incident... and that left me feeling cold. This book though while still a little alien to those of us who rely on empathy, serves to better explain the condition.
I do feel after reading this that my understanding is enhanced a little (though I recognise there are so many facets to autism,)and my tolerance of the more unusual behaviours is better.
Feb 21, 2011 Antonia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
An amazing accomplishment, for sure. Detailed depiction from inside the head of a badly abused autistic child and adolescent. Her memory is amazing, too, I think. There are so many sad, painful, truly horrific stories here -- pretty depressing, actually -- though sometimes relieved by comic moments. (The buttonholer machine story did make me chuckle.) The photos looked -- to me -- like those of a normal child, though the author interprets them as "evidence" of her condition (which, I understand, ...more
Mckenzie Richardson
This is excellent reading for anyone involved in the autism community. At times, it is emotionally difficult to read as Williams recounts various instances of abuse and neglect from family and romantic partners/friends, while showing little emotion towards the events. But the journey through Williams' struggle to find herself and her place in 'the world' is extraordinary.

Williams describes very good examples of stim behavior, generalization problems, and dietary intolerance affecting behavior.
Catherine Robertson
I read this book when my own smart autistic son was very young, and was overwhelmed by it -- by the writing, by her memories, by her perspective on herself, and by her journey. It is a story of a brilliant woman trapped inside the odd shell autism creates, suffering inside it alone (and at the hands of her mother) and then beating her way out of it and learning, through trial and error, how to be herself. I don't have it -- I must have given it away -- or I would consult it to be more specific. ...more
May 29, 2014 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this book. Yeah, it may not have been the most descriptive book out there, but that's okay because it is an autobiography after all. But, what I most enjoyed about it was the content of the book; the book was about an autistic girl trying to get through life not understanding why she isn't normal, and her parents and doctors not even understanding why she isn't normal. The book takes place during the time of her life when autism wasn't such a common place diagnosis; doct ...more
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Author Interview 1 4 Apr 02, 2013 10:49PM  
Interview on the film for this novel 1 7 Mar 18, 2013 04:40AM  
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Donna Williams is the author of Nobody Nowhere: The Extraordinary Autobiography of an Autistic, in which she tells of her lifelong battle with autism -- a developmental disorder originating in infancy and characterized by self-absorption, repetitive and rigidly structured behavior, language dysfunction, and an inability to interact socially. Williams depicts in her book a world of disembodied colo ...more
More about Donna Williams...

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