Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Asperger's? I don't know

When I was writing the first draft of Bunderlin – a long time ago now – I read it chapter by chapter to a writers' circle. Folk were very encouraging. On several occasions members mentioned a similarlity which they thought they detected with Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.

There may have been a similarity but I couldn't really say much because I'd not read Curious Incident. And I made a point of not doing so until I had finished Bunderlin. Then I did read it. What a super book! It's a delightful portrayal of a boy with Asperger's Syndrome written from his point of view. All I can say is that if you haven't read it you should go and get a copy right away.

So was I trying in Bunderlin to portray an adult with Asperger's? No, I wasn't. I was writing about a character who had grown out of my impressions of a number of different people, some of whom may (or may not) have been Asperger's folk, and some of whom I am sure were not. I think – I am convinced – that Peter Bunderlin is a real character (and maybe I should write something later about my notion of a character who is both real and fictional) but whether he has Asperger's, I cannot say. That is for others to judge.

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