Book Review: The Genesis of Artistic Creativity: Asperger’s Syndrome and the Arts

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The Genesis of Artistic Creativity: Asperger’s Syndrome
and the Arts
Michael Fitzgerald, Jessica Kingsley Publishers
ISBN 1843103346, £13.95


Fitzgerald explores the lives of 21 writers, philosophers,
musicians and painters with autism, writes Patricia

Covering four centuries and including the likes of Mozart, Vincent
van Gogh and George Orwell, it describes the family background, the
indicators of Asperger’s syndrome, personality, obsessions and

The research was of a high standard and clearly the author has
considerable experience of autism. However, I am not sure who the
book is aimed at. It could not be used as inspiration for someone
with autism demonstrating talent in the arts as these famous people
led very sad and tragic lives.

As for professionals in this field, we now accept autism as a
condition and appreciate that these people, with such awesome
talent, spent their lives regarded as being on the brink of
insanity. The book could be used as a resource of anyone
researching famous people in the arts, but with a view of focusing
on their eccentric behaviours. I feel the conclusion to each
chapter should have been positive and highlighted all their
accomplishments. We should value what these exceptionally talented
people have given us.

Patricia Thorpe is author of Moving from Primary School to
Secondary School: Guidelines for Pupils with Autistic Spectrum

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