Thursday, October 19, 2023

An Evening with John Hendrickson: Making Peace with a Stutter

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Michigan League
Hussey Room
911 N University Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


In conversation with Soo-Eun Chang, Ph.D., Director of the Speech Neurophysiology Lab

This event is free and open to the public. Face masks are encouraged and will be available on-site. 

Join us for an evening with John Hendrickson, staff writer at The Atlantic and author of the memoir, Life on Delay: Making Peace With a Stutter



In 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 his life. Overnight, he was forced to publicly confront an aspect of himself that still caused him great pain.

But, he also learned he wasn’t alone: strangers who stutter began sending him their own personal stories. In his memoir, Hendrickson dives deep into the unique experiences of stutterers. Along the way, he answers lingering questions about himself—and about stuttering—that he was once too afraid to ask.

  • John will speak in conversation with stuttering researcher Dr. Soo-Eun Chang, director of the Speech Neurophysiology Lab at the University of Michigan.
  • This event will provide profound insights into John’s experience with stuttering and the future of stuttering research and neuroscience-based treatments.
  • An audience Q&A and book signing will follow.
  • After the talk, John will sign copies of his book, Life on Delay: Making Peace With a Stutter. If you don’t already own a copy, books will be available for purchase courtesy of Literati Bookstore. 


More about stuttering

Stuttering occurs in 1% of the general population and in 5–8% of children. The exact cause is unknown and treatments are limited. If you want to learn more about stuttering ahead of the event, especially the emotional and social challenges of navigating daily life, check out this fantastic explainer video featuring John Hendrickson. It’s a reminder that we can all help by being more patient listeners: I Stutter. But I Need You to Listen.

Click to watch the video


John Hendrickson

About John

John Hendrickson is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of Life on Delay: Making Peace With a Stutter

Life on Delay is a reported memoir that grew out of his Atlantic feature "What Joe Biden Can’t Bring Himself to Say," which was read by more than 2 million people and named one of the best stories of 2019 by Longform.

John has spoken about politics, journalism, disability, and other topics on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, and at colleges and universities across the country. Before joining The Atlantic, he wrote and edited for Rolling StoneEsquire, and The Denver Post.

He lives in New York City with his wife.


Praise for Life On Delay:

“I can’t remember the last time I read a book so human. Life On Delay brims with empathy and honesty. It is a book about family, relationships, and how we come to understand who we are in the world. It moved me in ways that I haven’t experienced before. It’s fantastic.”

—Clint Smith, best-selling author of How the Word Is Passed


“I could not put down this brave, eye-opening, and exquisitely moving memoir. I cried, laughed, and entered a whole new world that felt both specific and universal in the complexities of navigating a path to self-acceptance. It has made me view myself and others in entirely new ways, and I will be thinking about John’s journey for years to come. A must-read for every human.”

—Lori Gottlieb, author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone


“Brave, compassionate, and brilliantly observed, Life On Delay is not only one of the most engaging books I’ve ever read on disability, it’s one of the best books I’ve read on becoming a mature, authentic human being in a society that stigmatizes difference.”

—Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity