Tammet, Daniel 1979-
Tammet, Daniel 1979-
Born January 31, 1979, in London, England.
Writer and educator.
Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant (autobiography), Free Press (New York, NY), 2007.
Daniel Tammet's parents realized their son had extraordinary abilities when he was age four, not long after he suffered from an epileptic seizure. Young Daniel began associating numbers with images, imbuing each digit with characteristics such as color, texture, and size; this synesthesia gave him the ability to make rapid mathematical computations in his head and memorize long sequences of numbers in an instant. Tammet was later diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism that is associated with milder symptoms. Although he suffers from many of the classic symptoms of autism, such as difficulty socializing and a lack of empathy, Tammet is unique among so-called "autistic savants" in that he is able to describe how he makes split-second calculations, giving researchers valuable insight into the thought processes of those with savant abilities.
Tammet chronicles his life story in Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant. The autobiography was described by a Kirkus Reviews contributor as "a riveting account of living with autism" that "transcends the disability-memoir genre." Wook Kim wrote in a review for Entertainment Weekly that it is "a book that inspires even as it astonishes." A Publishers Weekly reviewer was impressed with Tammet's "ability to express himself clearly and with a surprisingly engaging tone." Tammet, declared Booklist reviewer Ray Olson, "writes some of the clearest prose this side of Hemingway; he tells his story with such concentration, precision, and simplicity."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Tammet, Daniel, Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant, Free Press (New York, NY), 2007.
Booklist, January 1, 2007, Ray Olson, review of Born on a Blue Day, p. 31.
Entertainment Weekly, January 19, 2007, Wook Kim, review of Born on a Blue Day, p. 86.
Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2006, review of Born on a Blue Day, p. 1061.
Publishers Weekly, December 4, 2006, review of Born on a Blue Day, p. 46.
Optimnem: Daniel Tammet Home Page,http://www.optimnem.co.uk (May 24, 2007).