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‘Life on Delay: Making Peace with a Stutter’: John Hendrickson’s poignant memoir demystifies this neurological disorder

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Matthew Bernucca
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John Hendrickson

John Hendrickson first shared his story about living with a stutter when he wrote an article about then presidential candidate Joe Biden for The Atlantic.

The article went viral.

John Hendrickson had spent his life hiding the fact of his stutter and all of the pain and shame that accompanies this reality.

There are some three million Americans who stutter in the United States. That’s about one percent of the population.

Even so, most people don’t really understand this disorder. For decades teachers and therapists had a one-size-fits-all approach to trying to “correct” or disguise stuttering.

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It is a subject that is misunderstood and for which the perpetuation of that misunderstanding remains today a problem for those who stutter. It is also a topic that isn’t covered much.

After John Hendrickson’s article went viral, he began to receive emails from other stutterers, from therapists, and teachers and researchers and others–all thanking him for having at last covered such a topic. He has received a thousand such missives.

And now three years later, he’s penned a book about his own story. It is a candid and powerfully poignant memoir with unexpected resonances about childhood, family, and love.

Yvette Benavides can be reached at bookpublic@tpr.org.