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kottke.org posts about Life on Delay

Life on Delay: Making Peace with a Stutter

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 12, 2022

In January 2020, John Hendrickson wrote an article for The Atlantic about Joe Biden’s stutter…and his own. Hendrickson has written a memoir about his “lifelong struggle to speak”: Life on Delay: Making Peace with a Stutter.

In Life on Delay, Hendrickson writes candidly about bullying, substance abuse, depression, isolation, and other issues stutterers like him face daily. He explores the intricate family dynamics surrounding his own stutter and revisits key people from his past in unguarded interviews. Readers get an over-the-shoulder view of his childhood; his career as a journalist, which once seemed impossible; and his search for a romantic partner. Along the way, Hendrickson guides us through the evolution of speech therapy, the controversial quest for a “magic pill” to end stuttering, and the burgeoning self-help movement within the stuttering community. Beyond his own experiences, he shares portraits of fellow stutterers who have changed his life, and he writes about a pioneering doctor who is upending the field of speech therapy.

Sounds fascinating and the cover is fantastic (who designed it?):

book cover for Life On Delay

See also Austin Kleon’s Our Stutter:

Around Christmastime, my son started stuttering differently and more frequently.

“Why are you so glitchy?” my 5-year-old asked him. “I’m worried about you.”

We might’ve been worried, too, except that we’d been through it before. The previous Christmas, we’d called Dr. Courtney Byrd at the Lang Stuttering Institute here in Austin, Texas, and she assured us that it was perfectly normal for stuttering to change during the holidays and that even good, exciting events can cause changes in stuttering.

So now, when Our Stutter changes, our listening changes.

We listen with more love.

The segment he references from This American Life featuring JJJJJerome Ellis is fantastic and a must-listen if you’ve never heard it before.

Update: Hendrickson reports that the cover is by Oliver Munday, whose work I admire greatly.