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Ten percent of the population is affected by a learning disability (LD), but few of us understand what being learning disabled is really like. When he was fourteen, Bradlee was diagnosed with velo-cardio-facial-syndrome (VCFS), a little-understood disorder that is expressed through a wide range of physical ailments and learning disabilities. In this funny, moving, and often irreverent book, Bradlee tells his own inspirational story of growing up as an LD kid, and of doing so as the child of formidably accomplished parents: long-time Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee and bestselling author Sally Quinn. From his difficulties reading social cues, to his cringeworthy loss of sexual innocence, Bradlee describes the challenges and joys of living "a different life" with disarming candor and humor. By the end of A Different Life he might be, if not your best friend, one of your favorite people.
Quinn Bradlee attended Landmark College, American University, and the New York Film Academy. He has made a series of documentary films about children with learning disabilities and rare genetic syndromes, and recently launched friendsofquinn.com, an online community for LD kids and their families.
Jeff Himmelman worked on Bob Woodard's Maestro and Tim Russert's Big Russ and Me, and has contributed to a host of other book projects. His work with Woodward and a team of other reporters helped The Washington Post win the Pulitzer Prize for its post-9/11 coverage.
"Memoirs of a childhood in the shadow of famous parents are legion, but most center on some conflict. Quinn Bradlee, son of former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and writer Sally Quinn, instead tells a story in which his parents are tough, loving and supportive. They needed to be. From open-heart surgery in infancy to a litany of health and developmental problems, Bradlee's childhood combined privilege with serious challenges. When he was 14, he and his parents finally got a diagnosis explaining everything from the hole in his heart to his difficulties with speech, memory and social interactions: cardio-velo-facial syndrome, a genetic condition affecting one in 2,000. Bradlee's book brings a bracing honesty to the tough stuff he has faced, and a sweet enthusiasm for the things that make him happy, from surfing to his childhood dog. He doesn't sugarcoat how difficult difference can be, but there's no pity here, and no complaint."--The Washington Post
256 pages. 201