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The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight

The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight cover

The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight

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Named one of the best books of the year by: THE NEW YORKERTHE WASHINGTON POST THE ATLANTIC • NPR PUBLISHERS WEEKLY • LITHUB


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

“After reading Andrew Leland’s memoir, The Country of the Blind, you will look at the English language differently . . . Leland rigorously explores the disability’s most troubling corners . . . A wonderful cross-disciplinary wander.” The New York Times Book Review

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, such that he now sees the world as if through a narrow tube. 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.

Thought-provoking and brimming with warmth and humor, The Country of the Blind is a deeply personal and intellectually exhilarating tour of a way of being that most of us have never paused to consider—and from which we have much to learn.

Andrew Leland’s writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Art in America, among other outlets. From 2013 to 2019, he hosted and produced The Organist, an arts and culture podcast, for KCRW; he has also produced pieces for Radiolab and 99% Invisible. He has been an editor at The Believer since 2003. He lives in western Massachusetts with his wife and son.

ISBN: 9781984881427

ISBN-10: 9781984881427

Publisher: Penguin Press

Publication Date: 07/18/2023 - 12:00am

On Sale: 07/18/2023 - 12:00am

Pages: 368

Language: English

Categories

Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs

Biography & Autobiography / People with Disabilities

Social Science / People with Disabilities