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The Secret Life of a Black Aspie: A Memoir

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Anand Prahlad was born on a former plantation in Virginia in 1954. This memoir, vividly internal, powerfully lyric, and brilliantly impressionistic, is his story.
For the first four years of his life, Prahlad didn’t speak. But his silence didn’t stop him from communicating—or communing—with the strange, numinous world he found around him. Ordinary household objects came
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 15th 2017 by University of Alaska Press
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Lisa Higgins
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read most of Prahlad's memoir with a lump in my throat: lumps of awe, fear, memory, angst, worry, joyousness, and awakening

My mind bent and my heart cracked on every page. His stories are important contexts for the latest chapters in our collective histories.
Alice Lemon
I'm still trying to decide what to think of this book, and I'm not entirely sure if I should've given it three stars or four. I can't say I liked it, exactly, but I think it was important. The author's very stream-of-consciousness style was certainly a change, and perhaps shouldn't surprise me as much given that he is a literature professor.

A number of things that Prahlad talks about---including the hints that he is genderfluid or otherwise non-binary, and his spirituality and feelings of being
Janice (JG)
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is an invitation to enter into a reality that is unlike anything neurotypical people normally inhabit. Anand Prahlad reveals his inner life as one who lives on the autism spectrum as well as a Black, from the time he was a child in the 1950s until the present day. He is a published poet, a professor of Black Studies, and the author of creative nonfiction as well as journal and scholarly articles. How he has navigated this American culture, aware only that he was somehow very different, ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I picked this up from the library because of the cover. It stood out on the table.

This book is loosely a memoir, it's really a series of stories from the author's life. It's got a lot of details missing that I think would make this even better.

The author grew up on a Virginia plantation that his family had lived on for generations, including centuries of his ancestors enslaved on that same plantation. Like his mom and grandma, Prahlad could see and hear spirits. He also could taste colors. Prahl
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I took this book out on a whim and was amazed at how moved I was, especially by the first half. It created a world that was so evocative I will long remember this book.

I've never read about a child growing up with grandparents and ancestors who were slaves, similar to holocaust survivors. That part of US history is not taught in school.

I never learned how some former slaves stayed nearby the plantations, and within two generations created their own very self sufficient and skilled communities.
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, sexuality
I want to reread the first half to pay more attention to the language rather than the story; it was haunting and beautiful and important.
Apr 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, nonfiction
This did not go where I was expecting at all. In a good way
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully reflective, lyrical memoir. One of those books you'll never stop thinking about as a reader. ...more
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful. This book is beautiful.
Zac Thriffiley
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Oct 02, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: rec-cal-magazine
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Anand Prahlad is the author of the Permafrost Prize-winning memoir The Secret Life of a Black Aspie. He has published two books of poems, Hear My Story and Other Poems and As Good As Mango, as well as poems and creative nonfiction in literary journals such as Fifth Wednesday, Water~Stone Review, Copper Nickle, Pleiades, The Chariton Review, and Natural Bridge. He recently completed a new collectio ...more

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