When Paul Collins' son Morgan was two years old, he could read, spell, and perform arithmetic in his head, but not answer his name. A casual conversation—or any social interaction that the rest of us take for granted—is, for Morgan, a cryptogram to be painstakingly decoded. He seems to live in a world of his own: an autistic world.
Not Even Wrong picks up where the national bestseller Sixpence House left off, bringing Paul Collins' trademark blend of personal observation and forgotten stories from history to bear on his son's autism. As Morgan is diagnosed, Collins realizes who he has been drawn to one unusual tale: that of Peter the wild boy, the nearly mute feral child discovered in the Black Forest in 1725, who went on to caper through Kensington Palace, meet Swift and Defoe, and haunt the births of Romanticism, zoology, and even the theory of evolution. Interweaving Peter's story with his own family's struggle with Morgan's development, Collins delves into the lives of autists, finding their traces in numerous tales of solitary eccentrics who made astonishing scientific advances. His quest takes him from an English churchyard to the Seattle labs of Microsoft, from a Wisconsin prison cell block to the streets of Vienna, and to the offices of scientists leading the inquiry into this only faintly understood disorder.
And finally he begins to see the outlines of a story that connects the life of a wild boy to his own life, and to Morgan's.
Not Even Wrong is a haunting journey into the borderlands of neurology—a meditation on what "normal" is, and how human genius comes to us in strange and wondrous forms.