Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tod Goldberg, On Reading

"When I was a child I remember being told I would never read or write above the 4th grade level. I was only six or seven at the time and was profoundly dyslexic. I was at an optometrist's office getting my eyes checked and as I sat there in the dark with my eyes dilated, the optometrist turned to my mother and told her my future as if I was incapable of understanding what he was saying. I spent the next several years in special classes filled with other kids with far more significant maladies -- cerebral palsy, missing limbs, Downs Syndrome -- and every day that I spent in those classes, and every day I spent being tormented by what I couldn't do and couldn't be, the more I wanted to simply be able to sit down and read, get swept away to a better life than what I was mired in. Of course I didn't know how hard it would be, or how long the journey, or how grand the payoff would be. I don't know if I write above a 4th grade level -- at least not according to some reviews on Amazon! -- but I surely read above that level now."

Tod Goldberg is the author of several books, including Fake Liar Cheat, Other Resort Cities, Burn Notice: The Fix, and Burn Notice: The End Game. His novel, Living Dead Girl ,was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and his collection of short stories, Simplify, was a finalist for the SCIBA Award for Fiction and winner of the Other Voices Short Story Collection Prize. Visit his website here for more information.}


  1. Yey! I love that you defied the odds. I'm co-writing a memoir with and about Deirdre Gogarty, the 1997 WIBF champion. Women were not allowed to box in Ireland at the time of her career, so she moved to the States. She is also dyslexic which gave her one more hurtle to overcome. But like you, she jumps really high.

  2. Oops, I just realized initial comment was not left for Ted. But thanks for posting. I look forward to reading more of your On Reading posts.

  3. I'd love to hear more about becoming a writer after dealing with the dyslexia!