Kate Winslet authors celebrity book for autism

Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:33pm EDT
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actress Kate Winslet will author a book of celebrity self-portrait photos by Ben Stiller, Jude Law, Meryl Streep and others to support the treatment of autism, Simon & Schuster said on Thursday.

Winslet organized the collection of self-portrait photos for the book titled "The Golden Hat" after becoming inspired by an HBO documentary she narrated called "A Mother's Courage: Talking Back To Autism" that aired last year.

The film shows Keli Ericsdottir, an Icelandic boy who suffered from severe non-verbal autism, eventually being able to communicate. He now composes poems, including one describing a magical hat that enables an autistic boy to communicate.

The book, which will be released later this year, derives its name from Ericsdottir's poem and tells the story of Winslet's relationship with the Ericsdottir family as well as Keli Ericsdottir's poetry and writings.

Winslet asked more than two dozen celebrities to take a self-portrait photo wearing one special hat that was passed along, as well as including what their first words would be had they been suddenly able to communicate after years of locked in silence.

Other well-known figures in the book include comedian Ricky Gervais, tennis player Maria Sharapova, singer Christina Aguilera and actresses Naomi Watts and Julianne Moore.

Several people diagnosed with autism also appear in the book. Proceeds from the book's profits will benefit Winslet's autism charity "The Golden Hat Foundation."

(Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Bob Tourtellotte)