After the summer release of his newest book, Daniel Bowman Jr., associate professor of English, is offering an on-campus book event to discuss what the memoir offers.
While Bowman is no stranger to the world of writing, his recent publication “On The Spectrum” offers a new tone to his writing. He has previously released a collection of his poetry, titled “A Plum Tree in Leatherstocking Country,” as well as several pieces of work in different anthologies. Comparing this book with other published pieces of his, it takes a new form: a memoir about his life as it details his personal intersection of autism and faith.
In the book description, Bowman attempts to offer a reshaped mindset on autism. He aims to counter the reader’s previous conclusions about the disorder.
“Nearly everyone knows someone on the autism spectrum, whether it’s a niece or nephew, a student in their classroom, a coworker, a sibling, spouse or child,” says Bowman. “About one in 45 people are autistic, according to the CDC, and autism is reported across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Yet much of what people think they know about autism is wrong.”
Bowman’s personal experience allows him to speak to his story. Being diagnosed later in life, his journey of growth has shaped him greatly. This book testifies to that story.
As a Christian, Bowman has been able to glean a great deal of insight on his life and how it has been changed for the better.
“‘On the Spectrum’ is a memoir-in-essays, a work of creative nonfiction in which I tell the story of my autism diagnosis in my thirties and how I’ve had to reframe my life through the lens of what I now understand about myself and my brain wiring,” said Bowman. “I examine the challenges of being autistic in a neurotypical world and in the church.”
Utilizing this recent release, Bowman is eager to share his work with the campus by holding an event where he can discuss his book. This event will offer Bowman speaking about the book and launch his work on campus.
This launch will offer opportunities for more students to learn about the topics covered in the book as well as give a chance for them to ask about Bowman’s experience.
“The book and the reading on Sept. 30 will offer people a chance to hear about autism from the inside, from someone who has lived it and can shed light on the many nuances,” said Bowman
“In the end, though, the book is not only for learning about one small subsection of the population (autistic people) … the book is, I hope, an opportunity to learn how to love your neighbor as yourself. We can’t love people well if we don’t hear their stories, engage with their suffering and try to see the world from their point of view. Reading a memoir can make someone more compassionate. And compassion can change the world for the Kingdom of God.”
This event will be held on Sept. 30 at 3 p.m. in the Zondervan Library. During the event, Tree of Life will be selling some copies of the book. Bowman will read part of the book, answer questions and sign copies.
To learn more about the book, Bowman has a website that includes information and a brief description. Look for a follow-up feature on Bowman and his writing process in a later edition of The Echo.