ASJA Direct - Judith Newman

Judith Newman is the author of the bestseller To Siri With Love:  A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines, a collection of illuminating stories about life with fourteen-year-old boy with autism.  The New York Times called it “an uncommonly riotous and moving book…with whipsaws of brilliant zingers and heart punches.”  The Washington Post called Newman “a gifted personal essayist, her warmth and wit recalling Nora Ephron’s.”  Previous books include You Make Me Feel Like An Unnatural Woman:  Diary of a New (Old) Mother, about her adventures in the world of infertility.

In addition to books and personal essays, Judith writes for magazines about entertainment, science, business, beauty, health, and popular culture.  Her work and celebrity interviews are featured in a variety of publications from The New York Times and Vanity Fair to Prevention, AARP, and National Geographic.  She regularly reviews books for People and the Times, and writes the "Help Desk" column in The New York Times Book Review.  She is a contributing editor for Allure and Prevention, and has been widely anthologized. 

Click here to access Judith’s recording

In this podcast, journalist and author, Judith Newman talks to Estelle Erasmus about the following:

  • Her path to publication for To Siri with Love
  • What she covers as a columnist for the New York Times Sunday Book Review
  • The stories she is proudest of
  • How she handled the vitriol from the autism community after her book was published
  • Advice for writers
  • The future of publishing

Follow Estelle Erasmus on Twitter and on Facebook

Judith Newman also did a follow-up interview providing more insight into her writing process


To order To Siri With Love
Twitter:  @judithn111

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
  • Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
    – Flannery O'Connor
  • I just wrote a book, but don't go out and buy it yet, because I don't think it's finished yet.
    – Lawrence Welk
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    – Douglas Adams
  • I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
    – Stephen Wright
  • It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson