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I love books where the author has the ability to make me laugh out loud one moment and fill up with tears the next. (Bad Animals) does all that, and more. It is reflective, touching, humorous and heartbreaking. It is a memoir about life, written by an extremely talented author.

Kelly Wilton, Montreal Families

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Joel Yanofsky has written a staggeringly painful and candid account of trying to cope with his son's autism.... an essential (story) for both parents of autistic kids and those would understand more about (autism).

The Sudbury Star

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How do you parent an autistic child? In Bad Animals... Joel Yanofsky offers his answer to that question.... A refreshingly sober reflection on being the father of a high-functioning autistic 11-year-old.

Chatelaine

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A funny, deeply moving and refreshingly honest memoir of raising an autistic child.... (Bad Animals) manages to be both sardonically funny and heartfelt enough to draw tears, an immensely satisfying read for parents of disabled and non-disabled children alike.

Rene Bruemmer, The Montreal Gazette

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Writers... show their capacity for greatness when they point their talent at something they love. Joel Yanofsky has done just that: written a marvellous book about a child he adores -- his son.

David Gilmour, author of The Film Club

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If you want a highly readable, informative and, dare say, entertaining telling of what a family, and a marriage especially, goes through when hit with autism spectrum disorders, look no further.

James Manishen, The Winnipeg Free Press

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Joel Yanofsky has taken on just about the hardest of literary tasks, writing about life with an autistic child without succumbing either to sentimentality or bitterness.

Adam Gopnik, author of The Table Comes First and Paris to the Moon

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With self-deprecating humor and searing honesty... Yanofsky reveals the painful frustration and the powerful bond of love between him, his wife and their 11-year-old autistic son, Jonah. An eloquent memoir.

Kirkus Reviews

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Bad Animals is a father’s memoir about life with his autistic child... Dusted with despair and disappointment but buoyed by gratitude and hints of hope, Yanofsky shares his evolving emotions and relationship with Jonah as frustration and self-pity slowly give way to acceptance and joy.

Tony Miksanek, Booklist

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About the Author

  • About the Author

    Joel Yanofsky is the author of four books, including Homo Erectus, a collection of comic essays, Jacob’s Ladder, a novel, and Mordecai & Me: An Appreciation of a Kind, which won the 2003 Mavis Gallant QWF Non-fiction Prize and The Canadian Jewish Book Award.

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News

  • The Kids Who Don’t Beat Autism Thursday, 31 July 2014
    The following is an excerpt from an article published in the New York Times as part of the Motherlode section. The other day a stranger called our house, out of the blue, to discuss my son Jonah’s health. He’d seen my memoir about our family and autism in the library and he wanted to know if I’d heard about a treatment that was getting remarkable results. Something to do with ocean water, he explained. Incidentally, this sort of unsolicited heads-up…
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  • The Sixth Stage of Grief: Buying a Puppy Friday, 11 April 2014
    The following is an excerpt from an article published in the New York Times as part of the Motherlode section. Last fall, I received a puppy for my birthday. The gift, from my wife, Cynthia, was welcome, even if it came around 50 years too late. Still, the undiluted joy I’m sure I would have felt as, say, a 6-year-old has been undermined by a nagging grownup question: What were we thinking, getting a dog? Probably, we were thinking –…
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