(and let me take a moment to mourn the deletion of feminist aspie's blog and her wonderful post "A Headcanon Called Autism." I hope she is well.)
-- but I do think this book has... let's call it an autistic sensibility. Rosenthal, who sadly died fairly young, had a passion for wordplay and interesting patterns. This is apparent in the very form of this book, which is written as a series of alphabetic entries -- they start with "Amy" and end with "You." It's also apparent in what the entries are about... random feelings about life, odd memorable coincidences, observations. Reading the book is like briefly living inside someone's special interest.
A moment of personal sadness about this book:
"1989 Reads The Day I Became an Autodidact by Kendall Hailey. Writes author and receives letter back."That's a real gut-puncher for me, because I read that book sometime in the 90s and also was also inspired to write to the author... but never mailed it.
Rosenthal had a policy of always answering letters and she created numerous situations in which readers of her books could be inspired to contact her and participate in something with her. (For example, one reader got to propose a tattoo design, which they both got together.) So that also makes it a bit of a sad read, since she is no longer here to respond. The entire last chapter is a plea to "You" -- me, the reader-- to recognize her ordinary life:
"I picked at a scab. I wished I was older. I wished I was younger. I loved my children. I loved mayonnaise. I sucked my thumb. I chewed on a blade of grass.I can't read that without crying.
I was here, you see. I was."
But most of the book made me smile in recognition... of the fun of wordplay (She tried to get her client Kraft to do a show called the Krafterschool Special,) of those embarrassing memories you can't forget, of just being a person in the world.