An introduction by Roshani Shay Curtis of her newly-lauched book about her life with son Tarun. The book is subtitled: Our Adventures with Love, Deafness and Autism.
Two Souls, Tandem Journeys
Our Adventures with Love, Deafness and Autism
Roshani Shay Curtis, Ph.D.
Austin-Macauley Publishers, New York, 10 November 2023
Paperback, hardback, ebook
austinmacauley.com – barnesandnoble.com – mightyape.co.nz – amazon.com* – amazon.co.uk* – amazon.de* – amazon.in or in your country, from The Book Depository and from most major online retailers
I always knew that I wanted to write the story of our lives together, Tarun’s and mine. We were forced to be something like pioneers in the 1960s, when most doctors hadn’t even heard of autism. That and deafness too were diagnosed, as well as schizophrenia and “your child will be a vegetable by the age of three and should be institutionalized.”
We learned so many lessons in the nearly 60 years we have spent together that I wanted to share with other parents of kids with disabilities. I especially wanted the world to know about the open and loving community of Rajneeshpuram, which turned Tarun’s life around 180 degrees in his early twenties. I also hoped parents would discover that their worst nightmares could actually turn out to be their greatest gifts. I wanted to shift perspectives, to help others see that these children can be our greatest teachers. Finally, I wanted to convey that obstacles can be overcome and that happiness is possible in the end.
I had no idea how to start, so I tried writing a few chapters. But then I got stuck. What if I misremembered events? What if I didn’t have access to all the reams of paperwork that doctors and educators had written to document Tarun’s life? After some time, I decided that the only way to write our story was to approach it as a series of events in a novel.
Then, about 15+ years ago, I participated in a NaNo WriMo (National Novel Writing Month) program and managed a 50,000 page draft. And about five years ago, I briefly participated in a writing critique group. In other words, the universe provided the support I needed.
Since that time, I have added, deleted, rewritten and edited the book many times. The project took on increased urgency after I found a publisher last year and this spring I was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma.
I am so happy that this project is seeing the light of day. The book is under 200 pages, so I hope busy people have time to read it. I hope readers recognize our growth through our adventures and obstacles. I would love readers to encounter joy and gratitude in this little book, for that is what I am feeling most as I write this.