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Cuesta’s Book of the Year program offers community workshops 

his year’s book is the popular memoir Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Suskind.

–Cuesta College’s 2018 Book of the Year program is underway and, this year, a variety of events are open to the public. Marking the program’s 10-year anniversary, this year’s book is the popular memoir Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Suskind. The book tells the story of Suskind’s son, Owen Suskind, who struggles with autism and learned how to communicate with the outside world through his love of Disney films.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism affects one in 100 children in the United States. “This book speaks to the current issue of autism,” said Book of the Year Program Coordinator Carina Love. “It delves into Owen’s deep connection – or ‘affinity’ – with Disney movies, how they helped him communicate and cope with the world, and how those with autism can use affinities as tools for personal and social growth.”

Suskind will appear for a presentation and book-signing event on March 19, from 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at the Cuesta College Cultural and Performing Arts Center (CPAC). A reception with Suskind will follow in the SLO Campus Library (Building 3200) from 6:45 p.m. – 8 p.m. Parking is free in Lot 2. Tickets are $10 for the general public and free for students; purchase tickets online at cpactickets.cuesta.edu. To obtain student tickets, and to RSVP for the reception, email cuestabook@gmail.com.

Other 2018 Book of the Year Program events open to the public include:
Book Discussions: Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism

  • March 6, 11 a.m., Atascadero Library
  • March 7, 10 a.m., Morro Bay Library
  • March 8, 6:15 p.m., Oceano Library
  • March 14, 6 p.m., Los Osos Library
  • March 15, 7 p.m., Paso Robles City Library

Film Screenings: Life, Animated
Based on this year’s Book of the Year, this 90-minute documentary features interviews with author Ron Suskind, his son Owen, and other family members as they chronicle their journey with autism.

  • March 12, 10 a.m., Cuesta College North County Campus, Room N3102
  • March 13, 10 a.m., Cuesta College San Luis Obispo Campus, Room 5401
  • March 22, 6 p.m., Paso Robles City Library

Public Library Presentations: “Exploring Autism”
Members of the Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center will be hosting presentations on autism and their services.

  • March 1, 6 p.m., Paso Robles City Library
  • March 3, 2 p.m., Morro Bay Library
  • March 13, 6 p.m., Los Osos Library
  • March 14, 5:30 p.m., San Luis Obispo Library

 

Campus Presentation: “What is Autism?”
Clinical Psychologist Dr. Laurie Ferguson hosts discussions and Q&A sessions.

  • March 26, 11 a.m., Cuesta College North County Campus, Room N3102

About author Ron Suskind: Suskind is an American journalist and author. He was the senior national affairs writer for The Wall Street Journal from 1993-2000, where he won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing four articles that became the starting point for his first book, A Hope in the Unseen.

For more information on Suskind’s memoir, visit his website at www.ronsuskind.com.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.