In the fall of 2019, John Hendrickson wrote a groundbreaking story for The Atlantic about Joe Biden's decades-long journey with stuttering, as well as his own. The article went viral, reaching readers around the world and altering the course of Hendrickson's life. Overnight, he was forced to publicly confront an element of himself that still caused him great pain. He soon learned he wasn't alone with his feelings: strangers who stutter began sending him their own personal stories, something that continues to this day. Now, in this reported memoir, Hendrickson sets out to answer lingering questions about himself and his condition that he was often too afraid to ask.
Seamlessly recounted, threading together science and emotion, ideas and experience ... Even if Hendrickson doesn’t explicitly say so, getting these narrative transitions right is evidently crucial to him; connecting his thoughts is a way of connecting with us, drawing us in, capturing our attention and keeping it there ... Hendrickson has cultivated an undeniable gift for concise metaphors, distilling potentially long-winded explanations into memorable images, briskly delivered.
The kind of memoir that educates, endears, impacts and devastates, often simultaneously ... Personal yet informative, Life on Delay delves into the internal poeticism of someone who feels perpetually on the fringe while offering tangible advice regarding what to say or not say to someone with a stutter. By combining his own personal narrative with others’ life stories, Hendrickson provides a kaleidoscopic portrait of stutterers’ lived experiences ... A universal message from a voice that has been misunderstood at best, demeaned and diminished at worst, making its impact on the reader all the more profound.
Hendrickson poignantly chronicles his efforts to navigate adolescence and high school with a fear of speaking ... Hendrickson’s approach to his subject is both personal and investigative ... This appealing and perceptive memoir takes an unsentimental look at life with a speech disorder.