Results of the Whitbread Book Award in the year 1987.
Deprived of oxygen for two hours at birth, Christopher Nolan almost died, but he lived to write, at age twenty-one, this award-winning autobiography, told as the story of one Joseph Meehan. Nolan’s birth injuries left him quadriplegic and completely unable to communicate, so for years no one suspected that his mind, though imprisoned in an inert body, was burning to express his innermost thoughts and ideas to not only his family but the world. Whether he is fighting with the authorities for the right to go to an ordinary school, or going on a “normal” vacation for the first time, Nolan’s story has a touching, often breathtaking intensity. Nolan recounts his ultimate triumph of finally being able to share with others the insight and whimsy of his inner world, unlocking the inventive wordsmith and gifted storyteller within. The result is astonishingly lyrical, filled with powerful description, touching moments of triumph, sadness, and anger, and above all disarming wit.