Andrew Leland
2023 |
Biography & Autobiography

FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE Named one of the best books of the year by: THE NEW YORKER • THE WASHINGTON POST • THE ATLANTIC • NPR • PUBLISHERS WEEKLY • LITHUB "Fascinating...The great strength of this memoir is its voracious, humble curiosity." - The Atlantic, The 10 Best Books of the Year A witty, winning, and revelatory personal narrative of the author’s transition from sightedness to blindness and his quest to learn about blindness as a rich culture all its own. We meet Andrew Leland as he’s suspended in the liminal state of the soon-to-be blind: he’s midway through his life with retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that ushers those who live with it from sightedness to blindness over years, even decades. He grew up with full vision, but starting in his teenage years, his sight began to degrade from the outside in. Soon— but without knowing exactly when—he will likely have no vision left. Full of apprehension but also dogged curiosity, Leland embarks on a sweeping exploration of the state of being that awaits him: not only the physical experience of blindness but also its language, politics, and customs. He negotiates his changing relationships with his wife and son, and with his own sense of self, as he moves from his mainstream, “typical” life to one with a disability. Part memoir, part historical and cultural investigation, The Country of the Blind represents Leland’s determination not to merely survive this transition but to grow from it—to seek out and revel in that which makes blindness enlightening. Brimming with warmth and humor, it is an exhilarating tour of a new way of being.

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The Country of the Blind

A Memoir at the End of Sight