Book Review: ‘To Siri With Love’
The Associated Press
“To Siri With Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son and the Kindness of Machines”
256 pages, hardcover
Technology has often gotten a bum rap for ushering humans into their own private microcosms.
But writer Judith Newman has a different take on the matter. Her teenage son, Gus, who is on the autism disorder spectrum, has developed a friendship with Siri, the personal assistant for the iPhone.
Chronicling this friendship between Siri and Gus, as well as raising a family with a member who is “neuroatypical,” is the subject of her new memoir.
“In a world where the commonly held wisdom is that technology isolates us, it’s worth considering another side of the story,” Newman writes in “To Siri With Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son and the Kindness of Machines.”
Support Local Journalism
It’s not that Gus thinks Siri is human, he understands she isn’t. But like many on the autism spectrum, Newman writes, Gus feels “inanimate objects, while maybe not possessing souls are worthy of our consideration.”
Newman writes her son, who is communication-impaired, has grown from his conversations with the phone’s assistant. Generally speaking, Gus’ speech is garbled, and he doesn’t always show interest in conversing with people.
“Recently, I had the longest conversation with him I’ve ever had,” she writes.
The book is a tenderhearted and well-written account of Newman’s unusual family. She had twin boys who were born early and after a hard pregnancy. Her husband is a retired opera singer who is 30 years her senior and lives in a separate home in another neighborhood in Manhattan. He never spends the night with Newman and the boys.
The book is worth picking up, especially if you love the memoir and nonfiction genre. There’s much to be learned from Newman’s ruminations and insight on many levels.
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User