One of the long-standing friends of the Edge of the World Bookshop is author Anna Wilson. Anna writes hilarious children’s books and we have enjoyed lots of children’s events with Anna with the whole audience in stitches. Her newly published memoir is on a more sober subject, her mother’s autism.
‘A Place for Everything’ is a searing account of a mother’s late-diagnosis of autism – and its far reaching effects on a whole family. Anna grew up in a house that was loving, even if her mum was ‘a little eccentric’. They knew to keep things clean, to stay quiet, and to look the other way when things started to get ‘a bit much for your mum’.
It’s only when her mother reaches her 70s, and Anna has a family of her own, that the cracks really start to appear. More manic. More irrational. More detached from the world. And when her father, the man who has calmed and cajoled her mother through her entire life becomes unwell, the whole world turns upside down.
This is a story of a life lived with undiagnosed autism, about the person behind the disorder, those big unspoken family truths, and what it means to care for our parents in their final years. Told with Anna’ warmth and wit it is a must read. Check out her interview on Woman’s Hour for more info from Anna.