Skip to main content

Author Donna Williams on the Experience of Autism

Williams grew up in an abusive family; they didn't know she was autistic. Williams has been labeled "deaf," "retarded," and "crazy." She ran away from home at a young age, lived on the streets, and managed to put herself through college. When she was 25, she learned the word "autistic," and set out to articulate to others her experience living in "a world under glass." Her autobiography is called "Nobody Nowhere."


Other segments from the episode on November 30, 1992

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, November 30, 1992: Interview with Donna Williams; Interview with Bernard Rimland; Review of Julian Barnes' novel "Porcupine."


Transcript currently not available.

Transcripts are created on a rush deadline, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of Fresh Air interviews and reviews are the audio recordings of each segment.

You May Also like

Did you know you can create a shareable playlist?


Recently on Fresh Air Available to Play on NPR


Daughter of Warhol star looks back on a bohemian childhood in the Chelsea Hotel

Alexandra Auder's mother, Viva, was one of Andy Warhol's muses. Growing up in Warhol's orbit meant Auder's childhood was an unusual one. For several years, Viva, Auder and Auder's younger half-sister, Gaby Hoffmann, lived in the Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan. It was was famous for having been home to Leonard Cohen, Dylan Thomas, Virgil Thomson, and Bob Dylan, among others.


This fake 'Jury Duty' really put James Marsden's improv chops on trial

In the series Jury Duty, a solar contractor named Ronald Gladden has agreed to participate in what he believes is a documentary about the experience of being a juror--but what Ronald doesn't know is that the whole thing is fake.

There are more than 22,000 Fresh Air segments.

Let us help you find exactly what you want to hear.
Just play me something
Your Queue

Would you like to make a playlist based on your queue?

Generate & Share View/Edit Your Queue