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1. Blindness of the Heart: A Novel
2. Blindness (Movie Tie-In)
3. Blindness and Insight: Essays
4. The Truth Will Set You Free: Overcoming
5. Willful Blindness: A Memoir of
6. Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness
7. The unseen minority: A social
8. Scattered Shadows: A Memoir of
9. Hysterical Blindness
10. Taking Hold: My Journey Into Blindness
12. Inattentional Blindness
13. The Encyclopedia of Blindness
14. Blindness and visual impairments:
15. The Heathen in His Blindness...:
16. Do You Remember the Color Blue:
17. Color-Blindness: Its Danger &
18. The Songs of Blind Folk: African
19. Colour Blindness: Causes and Effects
20. Blindness (British Literature

1. Blindness of the Heart: A Novel
by Julia Franck
Hardcover: 416 Pages (2010-10-05)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$12.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802119670
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
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Winner of the German Book Prize, The Blindness of the Heart is a dark marvel of a novel by one of Europe’s freshest young voices—a family story spanning two world wars and several generations in a German family. In the devastating opening scene, a woman named Helene stands with her seven-year-old son in a provincial German railway station in 1945, amid the chaos of civilians fleeing west. Having survived with him through the horror and deprivation of the war years, she abandons him on the station platform and never returns.

The story quickly circles back to Helene's childhood with her sister Martha in rural Germany, which came to an abrupt end with the outbreak of the First World War. Their father is sent to the eastern front, and their Jewish mother withdraws from the hostility of her surroundings into a state of mental confusion. As we follow Helene into adulthood, we watch riveted as the costs of survival and ill-fated love turn her into a woman capable of the unforgiveable.

Julia Franck's unforgettable English language debut throws new light on life in early-twentieth-century Germany, revealing the breathtaking scope of its citizens' denial—the "blindness of the heart" that survival often demanded.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Maybe, her heart was of stone, icy and unyielding..."
It is 1945: the horrors of the war are subsiding, yet devastation, poverty and fear are far from over for a young mother and her child.The urgency to fleewest is paramount; all Germans have to leave Stettin ... Helene and her son Peter having finally succeeded in boarding an overcrowded train, leave for Berlin. At a small transfer station, Peter is asked to wait for his mother on the platform... She never returns.Julia Franck's novel, BLINDNESS OF THE HEART (in German: DIE MITTAGSFRAU) could not have started more dramatically with this Prologue.The author, captivated by her own father's childhood experience and trauma, took the search for possible explanations for her grandmother's behaviour, as a starting point for her book.The resulting novel has turned into a fictional, wide-ranging psychological portrait of a complex and emotionally shattered young woman, who lived through two world wars and, for her not less dramatic, the time in between.

Franck's novel is a thought-provoking and, at times, unsettling and disturbing story of one person's deep love and loss, loneliness and rejection, responsibility and neglect, and the desperate, sometimes incomprehensible, will to survive. While primarily focusing on the portrayal of Helene, and her difficult relationships to her family and close surroundings, the author, nevertheless, reaches beyond the private and individual sphere into the depiction of sections of a society in chaos and upheaval. This applies especially to the Berlin's "Golden Twenties".Franck goes into some length in bringing to life the exuberant, careless and, with hindsight, totally naive behaviour of the bourgeois middle class. Any political events or references to changing economic conditions, that give the reader a sense of passing time, are only hinted at obliquely.In her description of individuals and scenarios, the author doesn't shy away from a certain amount of stereotyping.For her, Helene remains the silent observer as she feels increasingly alienated and retreats more and more into herself. Until she meets her great love, Carl, but even in this relationship one can detect certain clichés. While their happiness takes on the shape of a fairytale, the reader knows full well, given the events recounted upfront in the Prologue that some drama will destroy whatever hope Helene had for a happier life...

Why does Helene stand out among the many young women of that time?From her early childhood she had learned that she was different: Walking around town with her father, everybody greeted them, commenting on the girl's pretty blond complexion; when accompanying her mother, the stunningly beautiful dark haired Selma, they were shunned.Selma was treated as a foreigner who one wanted to avoid at all cost.Reality was difficult and Helene didn't know how to formulate her burning questions about the two religions, her parents' deep affection for each other, or her mother's growing remoteness. Instead she retreated into silence, totally rejected by her mother and, eventually, abandoned by her father; she clings closely to Martha, her older sister."[Selma's] heart is blind from all the pain" explains Martha.Are there parallels to Helene's "heart of stone?

Reading BLINDNESS OF THE HEART as a psychological portrait of one young woman, half-Jewish, intelligent and beautiful, whose circumstances may not have been unique, but were by no means common, I could relate to and empathize with Franck's central character most of the time.As an illustration of the total disintegration of sectors of German society in the twenties and thirties, in particular, I found the novel lacking in depth and specifics.For a German reader, many place names, such as Bautzen, Stettin, Pirna (where Selma is taken for treatment), etc. have strong historical connotations. Bautzen, where Helene grew up, is synonymous with brutal imprisonment, whether during the Nazi regime or later, until the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Stettin (Szczecin), where Helene lived until her flight to the West was, during the Third Reich, a centre for forced labour and prison transports into nearby concentration camps. Pirna is known for its "Sanatorium" where thousands of inmates were murdered during the early 1940s. However, Franck gives no indication as to the realities surrounding Helene, nor that her heroine was to any degree aware of such realities.

BLINDNESS OF THE HEART is Julia Franck's fourth novel and winner of the German Bookprize 2007.It is her first, though, to be translated into English and by the outstanding Anthea Bell.Frank's language is somewhat unusual, not only has it a touch of the old fashioned stories from the Eastern regions of Germany, it is at times, and in contrast with the event described, poetic in its choice of words and expressions.The complete absence of any punctuation in direct speech, is unusual, yet eventually, it makes the text flow and creates immediacy beyond speech. [Friederike Knabe]

5-0 out of 5 stars Right Into The Heart of Darkness
In the original German version, so I've been told, the title of this book is Die Mittagsfrau, or "The Noonday Witch". According to legend, the witch appears in the heat of day to spirit away children from their distracted parents. Those who are able to engage the witch in a short conversation find that her witch-like powers evaporate.

In Julia Franck's brilliant English version (translated by the very talented Anthea Bell), Helene gradually retreats into silence and passivity, losing her ability to communicate effectively.We meet her in the book's prologue as the mother of an eight-year-old boy, leading her son towards a packed train in the direction of Berlin.Before the train arrives she tells him a white lie, abandoning him at a bench, never to return.In the succeeding 400 pages, the reader gains a glimpse as to what drove Helene to this most unnatural act.

Helene is born into a family that defines the word "dysfunction".Her charismatic, morphine-addicted older sister Martha engages her in an incestuous relationship.Her mentally unbalanced "foreign" (i.e., Jewish) mother is unable to connect with her two daughters, totally distancing from them when their father goes off to fight the Great War and becomes grievously injured. When the two sisters gain the chance to flee to Berlin, they grab it and train as nurses, exposing them to the pain of their patients and also giving them ready access to drugs.

Martha fits right into the debauchery and frantic partying of a decaying Berlin with her enlightened free-thinking friend and physician-lover, Leontine, but Helene is far more circumspect and sensitive.Her one enduring love is a philosophy student named Carl who also feels deeply and tells her, "The God principle is built on pain. Only if pain were obliterated from the world could we speak of the death of God."When he is gone from the scene, she is unable to protect herself from victimization, occurring time and time again, with sexual predators and the cruel man she eventually marries.

As readers, we watch helplessly as Helene becomes increasingly detached, her heart becoming cold and numb.So it is no surprise when she concludes of her son,"...she had nothing more for him, her words were all used up long ago, she had neither bread nor an hour's time for him, there was nothing of her left for the child."

As the book progresses, the reader is forced to adapt an omnipotent stance; we know the consequence of some of the characters' decisions and the genocide that will soon follow, but we are powerless to guide the characters through. Julia Franck instructs through omission as much as she does the details.When Helene calls Berlin to speak to Martha and gets no answer, we as readers are reasonably sure what has occurred.But it is never confirmed.As a result, as Helene goes numb, we begin to understand.And we gain some compassion for an act that virtually all mothers would consider unforgiveable.

There is a menacing quality that pervades the book, become more and more pronounced as Hitler rises in power.There is no black-and-white morality or easy outcomes; there are simply all kinds of loss - loss of one's sanity, loss of innocence, loss of love, loss of the natural order of things, loss of hope.The more the characters lose, the more they must abandon. In many ways, we know they are already as good as gone.

4-0 out of 5 stars "The future's at our feet, we won't think just of ourselves, we'll think of the common good..of the people, of our German land."
The Blindness of the Heart, a prize-winning novel by Julia Franck, spans the period of the two world wars in Germany, focusing on the effects of these wars on seemingly ordinary German citizens.In the dramatic Prologue, which takes place in 1945, a young boy and Alice, his mother, arrive at a train station hoping to escape the post-war horrors.For the boy, however, the horrors are just beginning.His mother abandons him at the station, without any warning, leaving behind written instructions on where to deliver him.

The theme of abandonment pervades the novel during its thirty-year time span.Many of the characters, abandoned by people they love, abandon others, in turn, avoiding responsibility on many fronts.Part I changes focus and time completely, from the time of the Prologue back to pre-World War I.The personal stories of several members of the Wursich family, often told in flashbacks, form the backbone of the novel, with the focus on Helene, the youngest daughter of Selma, a housewife with a Jewish background, and Ernst, the owner of a printing company.Helene, nine years younger than her sister Martha, is always an outsider in the social action of the family.Her mother has become a voluntary invalid, and her father, drafted to fight in World War I, returns crippled and half-blind.

When Martha and Helene, feeling abandoned by their parents, in turn abandon their home and move to Berlin with their aunt, Martha finds her escape from the troubles of the times by seeking the high life. Helene seeks academic opportunities and eventually falls in love with a philosophy student, familiar with the theories of Hegel, Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Cassirer.Helene, who has often wondered about the religious differences between between her parents, is now exposed also to the philosophies which her lover is studying, and she has no firm grounding in values which will enable her to deal with the coming Nazi menace.

The economic downturn and the inflation that comes with it, the growing prejudice against the Jews, the increasing search for meaning through theology and philosophy, the difficulties for women who want to achieve highly but have few financial resources on which to draw, and the everyday problems of caring for a child and working full-time make Helene a kind of "Everywoman," but her lack of feeling toward her child makes her a difficult protagonist to like or understand.

Critics have praised this novel for its visions of everyday life in Germany during the most difficult times in its history, but the success of the novel depends on the reader's ability to fully accept that the Wursich family--Helene, Martha, Helene's own lovers and husband, and her son--are, in fact, ordinary, everyday people.While the author carefully establishes the physical circumstances that might lead a character to abandon responsibilities, she is less successful in her ability to show genuine emotional conflicts, and some characters fail to inspire sympathy, their actions challenging credulity.The author has created a family with an almost gothic exaggeration of its many weaknesses, and while these characters certainly wring the heart, they are so twisted and damaged--so ready to abandon responsibility--that they are difficult to see as paradigms of everyday German life.Ultimately, I found myself wondering how much of value an individual may abandon and still be considered human.Mary Whipple ... Read more

2. Blindness (Movie Tie-In)
by Jose Saramago
Paperback: 352 Pages (2008-09-02)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$2.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156035588
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" that spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and assaulting women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers—among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears—through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation and a vivid evocation of the horrors of the twentieth century, Blindness has swept the reading public with its powerful portrayal of man's worst appetites and weaknesses-and man's ultimately exhilarating spirit.

Amazon.com Review
In an unnamed city in an unnamed country, a man sitting in his car waitingfor a traffic light to change is suddenly struck blind. But instead ofbeing plunged into darkness, this man sees everything white, as if he "werecaught in a mist or had fallen into a milky sea." A Good Samaritan offersto drive him home (and later steals his car); his wife takes him by taxi toa nearby eye clinic where they are ushered past other patients into thedoctor's office. Within a day the man's wife, the taxi driver, the doctorand his patients, and the car thief have all succumbed to blindness. As theepidemic spreads, the government panics and begins quarantining victims inan abandoned mental asylum--guarded by soldiers with orders to shoot anyonewho tries to escape. So begins Portuguese author José Saramago's grippingstory of humanity under siege, written with a dearth of paragraphs, limitedpunctuation, and embedded dialogue minus either quotation marks orattribution. At first this may seem challenging, but the style actuallycontributes to the narrative's building tension, and to the reader'sinvolvement.

In this community of blind people there is still one set of functioningeyes: the doctor's wife has affected blindness in order to accompany herhusband to the asylum. As the number of victims grows and the asylumbecomes overcrowded, systems begin to break down: toilets back up, fooddeliveries become sporadic; there is no medical treatment for the sick and noproper way to bury the dead. Inevitably, social conventions begin tocrumble as well, with one group of blind inmates taking control of thedwindling food supply and using it to exploit the others. Through it all,the doctor's wife does her best to protect her little band of blindcharges, eventually leading them out of the hospital and back into thehorribly changed landscape of the city.

Blindness is in many ways a horrific novel, detailing as it doesthe total breakdown in society that follows upon this most unnaturaldisaster. Saramago takes his characters to the very edge of humanity andthen pushes them over the precipice. His people learn to live ininexpressible filth, they commit acts of both unspeakable violence andamazing generosity that would have been unimaginable to them before thetragedy. The very structure of society itself alters to suit thecircumstances as once-civilized, urban dwellers become ragged nomadstraveling by touch from building to building in search of food. The devilis in the details, and Saramago has imagined for us in all its devastationa hell where those who went blind in the streets can never find their homesagain, where people are reduced to eating chickens raw and packs of dogsroam the excrement-covered sidewalks scavenging from corpses.

And yet in the midst of all this horror Saramago has written passages ofunsurpassed beauty. Upon being told she is beautiful by three of hercharges, women who have never seen her, "the doctor's wife is reduced totears because of a personal pronoun, an adverb, a verb, an adjective, meregrammatical categories, mere labels, just like the two women, the others,indefinite pronouns, they too are crying, they embrace the woman of thewhole sentence, three graces beneath the falling rain." Inthis one womanSaramago has created an enduring, fully developed character who serves bothas the eyes and ears of the reader and as the conscience of the race.Andin Blindness he has written a profound, ultimately transcendentmeditation on what it means to be human. --Alix Wilber ... Read more

Customer Reviews (419)

5-0 out of 5 stars delivered as advertised
Item came quickly, and in good condition as advertised. very good value for money :-)

4-0 out of 5 stars Reading with Tequila
I saw and loved the movie Blindness before even realizing it was based on a book. It's an amazing story. While the movie lacked the depth of the book, I think the movie was easier to understand and get into. My problem with the book stems from the writing style. The book is a collection of run-on sentences filled with commas. There isn't a quotation mark to be found. Most correct punctuation rules are completely disregarded. I found it very difficult to tell who was speaking, which wasn't helped in the least by the lack of names. The blind need no names, the book claims. Characters are defined by a distinguishing characteristic - the doctor, the first blind man, the boy with the squint, etc.

The story is self-explanatory. The city goes blind. Mayhem ensues. While seemingly basic, the way the story unfolds in truly terrifying. The blindness isn't the enemy. The other people are. When put into a this type of situation, people's true (and often horrific) colors show. Saramago goes beyond surface concerns and manages to get at the core of the issue. He throws every horrendous possibility at his characters, making them truly earn their survival.

Blindness offers one of the strongest female characters I've everencountered - the doctor's wife. This book deals with the very worst ofmankind's treatment of one another. The things she witnesses andexperiences would break anyone and yet, this unnamed women isinspirational in her ability to carry on.

As a modern American reader, I found myself asking the obvious questions. Why weren't the soldiers wearing bio hazard suits? Why wasn't the government working on a cure as opposed to this poor attempt at quarantine? Things of that nature.

Very few books could survive this type of formatting nightmare, but the story manages to shine through the mess. Blindness is an amazing tale of surviving when all hope is lost.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blindness by Jose Saramago
The stoplight turns green. It is at this moment, replicated throughout the world and symbolic of man's universally subconscious desire for movement, that movement begins to cease as an everyman becomes inexplicably blind. The phenomena is at first local, spreading through a handful of people with the slightest contact. The government picks up on this and places them in a hurried quarantine, but this doesn't do the slightest to staunch the epidemic and soon everyone throughout the world is struck blind, save a kindly doctor's wife who leads her group through the inhumanity of the quarantine and into society of their own.

The book excels in its bleakness, its stark depiction of man's essential character, its detached tone as it describes the most brutal of circumstances, and in its ultimate salvation. There is a light (no pun intended) at the end of this tunnel, but in order to get there the reader has to face countless times Saramago's view that modern man's id is inherently primitive, which isn't necessarily innovative but comprehensible here due to the book's beautiful sense of nuance and in the myriad of moments of grace that suspend its funereal tone. Ultimately it is one long, phantasmagorical allegory on man's vices and inabilities, and for the skill in which Saramago translates that to the reader the book alone is a triumph. I don't think I'm going to hurry to re-read it anytime soon, though.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Beauty in Blindness: A Story of Human Struggle
If you took away everything--your career, your possessions, your loved ones, and even your sense of being in the world--what is left?
The answer is chaos. Stripped to the bare bones of life, the characters in this book prove to you what it means to be human.
What a beautiful, masterful book. No wonder Saramago has been so highly praised; he more than deserves it.
As a side note, if possible, buy the original version, without the movie tie-in...who needs preconceived information about the characters before you even meet them? Let your mind create them using the guidelines given in the book. :)

3-0 out of 5 stars Blindness
The premise of this book was amazingly done.Jose Saramago's blindness is about an unknown city where one day, someone suddenly goes blind.

Its not the normal blindness however, he sees only a milky white.And soon it is found that it is contagious.In the beginning days the people going blind are rounded up and put into an old insane asylum in hopes that the contagion will not spread. There they become the nameless, only known by what they once were like a taxi driver, or a girl with dark glasses.

While there, only one person, an Opthamalogist's wife, still retains the ability to see.She pretends to be blind to stay with her husband and as the asylum gets fuller she helps those in her area.The biggest fear is the guards outside who prevent anyone from leaving, by force if necessary.

Another obstacle is a blind man with a gun and the members of his ward.Holding hostage the food, he demands valuables, and eventually women in exchange for not starving.Even the seeing woman must bow to his wishes so that he does not shoot anyone.The scenes in this area of the book are very graphic.There is no hesitation in describing bodily functions, rape, and violence.

Trying to survive the worse extremes and filth, the group in the Doctor's wife's ward stick together until then end.A fire at the asylum allows everyone to leave, but the world they return to is not the world they left.Most everyone around is blind and with no running water or electricity, the streets are filthy and full of excrement.People rove around searching for food and attacking those who might even have a small piece of moldy bread.

It is up to the one seeing person to lead her group to safety and try to ensure that they don't all die of disease or starvation.

While I loved the idea of this book, I was very turned off by the writing.I've seen it described that reading his writing was very much like being blind and trying to see.That he was trying to bring you in to the blind person's world, and for that he won a Nobel prize.My thought is that his writing is very much like an artist creating a masterpiece, and then covering it with a sheet in the exhibition.While it might be clever to do something like that, what is the world missing by not being able to see the true work of art?I found myself skimming several lines at a time just because of the lack of breaks and paragraphs.I could handle the different people all talking at once with no designators for the most part, but the lack of paragraphs killed this book for me.

Overall I'd say that this book was just average for me.I would have enjoyed it a great deal more if it were easier to read.Wonderful idea, not so wonderful execution.

Copyright 1995
293 pages ... Read more

3. Blindness and Insight: Essays in the Rhetoric of Contemporary Criticism (Theory andHistory of Literature)
by Paul De Man
Paperback: 342 Pages (1983-10-03)
list price: US$24.50 -- used & new: US$15.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0816611351
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Deconstruction minus the jargon
In this book, Paul de Man examines major European literary theorists of the twentieth century like Blanchot, Poulet, Lukacs, etc. and shows through his incisive insights, how each theorist while trying to explain the origin of the 'work' or of literature remained blind to what lies outside the purview of his thoeretical system, because the very logic of theorization always excludes something. Of particular interest is his critique of readings of Rousseau. Accordingly, some of the theorists he discusses are mainly Rousseau scholars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not de Man's best work
This book is a good introduction to Paul de Man's writing. I'm not unbiased, since he was one of my instructors at Yale in the 70s. I am aware of the controversy surrounding him because of his personal life and collaboration with the Nazis in occupied Belgium, but that is extraneous to this book.

The strength of the book is its accessibility. De Man was reaching out to a more general audience than in the works published later in his life and posthumously by his many admirers and students. That having been said, it lacks some of the impact and depth of his other writings. Still, for someone looking to find out what all the fuss is about Deconstruction, this is the place to start.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Boring and Pedantic Book
by a soulless man. De MAn understands nothing about the texts he reads, adn the reason for this is that it is clear that he has no real love of literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars de man
I must confess a sympathy for de man. He usually gets pilloried by the right and everyone who is for truth, justice and the american way, but his readings of texts are very precise. There is a certain mathematicism in de man, such that his interpretations can be stated very quickly and don'trequire the accumulation of much detail. For instance, his discussion ofthe second discourse as an allegory and the contrast of painting to musicis very interesting, although I suspect that he borrows alot from Benjamin(who I have not read). The structure of the 2nd discourse is the argumentof the 2nd discourse--very elegant and precise. Ultimately wrong, but thereyou go. Unfortunately, the precision has the effect of reducing texts totheir form. For instance, if we know that "leonine Achilles" is ametaphor, and then think the structure of metaphor, we know nothing aboutwhy Achilles is compared to a lion, we know nothing more about Homer or theIliad. De man is ultimately precise but dull. ... Read more

4. The Truth Will Set You Free: Overcoming Emotional Blindness and Finding Your True Adult Self
by Alice Miller, Andrew Jenkins
Paperback: 224 Pages (2002-12)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$5.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0465045855
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Returning to the themes of her classic Drama of the Gifted Child, the famed psychoanalyst examines the consequences of cruelty to children and offers ways we can heal our early psychic wounds.

More than twenty years ago, a little-known Swiss psychoanalyst wrote a book that changed the way many people viewed themselves and their world. In simple but powerful prose, the deeply moving Drama of the Gifted Child showed how parents unconsciously form and deform the emotional lives of their children. Alice Miller's stories about the roots of suffering in childhood resonated with readers, and her book soon became a backlist best seller.

In The Truth Will Set You Free Miller returns to the intensely personal tone and themes of her best-loved work. Only by embracing the truth of our past histories can any of us hope to be free of pain in the present, she argues. Miller uses vivid true stories to reveal the perils of early-childhood mistreatment and the dangers of mindless obedience to parental will. Drawing on the latest research on brain development, she shows how spanking and humiliation produce dangerous levels of denial, which leads in turn to emotional blindness and to mental barriers that cut off awareness and the ability to learn new ways of acting. If this cycle repeats itself, the grown child will perpetrate the same abuse on later generations--a message vitally important, especially given the increasing popularity of programs like Tough Love and of "child disciplinarians" like James Dobson. The Truth Will Set You Free will provoke and inform all readers who want to know Alice Miller's latest thinking on this important subject. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars A must read for all parents
After having read another of Alice Miller's books (Drama of the Gifted Child) I thought I'd see what else she had to say and in The truth will set you free I was not disappointed. She writes in a free flowing and honest manner and is able to make the reader reflect on and even question the validity behind things we take for granted; things we often assume to be a fact of life. I think this book is especially relevant for anyone that is a parent or hopes to one day become one. We owe it to ourselves and we especially owe it to our children and future generations to overcome the blindness Miller speaks of. It is also a great read to help elucidate one's own character development.

5-0 out of 5 stars Subliminal and insideous trauma
What Alice Miller does better than anyone else is uncover assaults to the soul that are generally unrecognized.She discloses words and behaviors that are experienced, during the developmental years of childhood, that undermine one's value and sense of self.

5-0 out of 5 stars a book with great insights regarding humans personal matters
The book is very well written and interesting. It is of great help to all adults of narcissistic parents / families. Alice Miller gives support and understanding to the grown-up that wants to be in control of his own life. The truth also allows advance in emotional growing. Highly recommended for parents as a tool to improving communication with their children and progressing the intent of raising loving and caring children.

5-0 out of 5 stars Break through the family curse
This is a great book to help me understand myself. From my grandma to my mother, and to me, our personal life seem repeat the same fate of the earlier generation's. My daughter is now entering her early adulthood. Is she going to be another victim of this family curse? Reading this book, bring back a lot of my buried childhood memory. I can see how strongly that drives me today on making decisions and choices, and how I response and relate to other people. This awareness bring me a great hope that I can live differently in the rest of my life, and positively impact my daughter, and her children in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Book review
This book was in great condition and was sent instantly. There were absolutely no problems. ... Read more

5. Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad
by AndrewC. Mccarthy
Paperback: 360 Pages (2009-12-08)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.38
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594032653
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6. Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening
by Stephen Kuusisto
Hardcover: 208 Pages (2006-09-17)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$4.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393058921
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A memoir of blindness and listening rendered with a poet's delight by the author of the acclaimed Planet of the Blind.Blind people are not casual listeners. Blind since birth, Stephen Kuusisto recounts with a poet's sense of detail the surprise that comes when we are actively listening to our surroundings. There is an art to eavesdropping. Like Annie Dillard's An American Childhood or Dorothy Allison's One or Two Things I Know for Sure, Kuusisto's memoir highlights periods of childhood when a writer first becomes aware of his curiosity and imagination. As a boy he listened to Caruso records in his grandmother's attic and spent hours in the New Hampshire woods learning the calls of birds. As a grown man the writer visits cities around the world in order to discover the art of sightseeing by ear. Whether the reader is interested in disability, American poetry, music, travel, or the art of eavesdropping, he or she will find much to hear and even "see" in this unique celebration of a hearing life. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Sound-seeing is more than just eavesdropping...
Who needs eyes when they have ears and a mind like Stephen's? This memoir is a remarkable audio tour through exotic locales that is surprisingly vibrant and "feels like being there." He writes that the hard part of sound-seeing is that the listener is mostly dependent upon spontaneous events and action - a conversation, a flock of birds taking flight, a bell tolling - while the sight-seer can look at static sights and let the mind wander. Woven beautifully throughout are Stephen's memories of music and literature that keeps his mind occupied with what most of the rest of us fill with visual stimulation. While not a journey-type memoir in the traditional sense, Eavesdropping is full of wit and wisdom, a compelling read.

5-0 out of 5 stars senses
We are a very visually oriented society. This book helps you hear, smell and taste the world around us. It is beautifully written and a delightfully different perspective.

5-0 out of 5 stars Poetry of Blindness
Kuusisto writes his life like a painting.He is blind and yet his descriptive writing sees more than most sighted people.He brings us to the point of wonder at his ability to"see."His descriptive hearing elevates the reader to the level of music and poetic irony. I can't wait to read more.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the last one
If you're looking for a sequel to the author's famous 1998 memoir PLANET OF THE BLIND, this isn't it, no matter how they try to market it as such, and indeed called it a "memoir" in its subtitle is pretty misleading according to the Fair Packaging Act.PLANET OF THE BLIND has everything, an intense, nearly unbelievable story of growing up nearly blind and yet trying to pretend to be sighted, and underneath it all it was a story of being mainstreamed and constantly told that everything would be all right and that if you only tried harder you'd be just like any other boy.The journey was all in discovering that no, what society was telling you was just not true and that you needed help all your life.Help you never got.Lessons in braille and a guide dog more like.

Eventually young Kuusisto began living a productive life, freed from his twin demons of obesity and anorexia, and became recognized internationally as a master of disability studies and as a poet.As a poet, he's not one of my favorites, but he's certainly well known in the field and has the respect of many.The present book is sort of a gallimaufry, a compilation of different essays about all different things, and it would be an understatement to say it lacks the focus of PLANET OF THE BLIND.In fact it doesn't have much narrative drive at all.Mostly we hear about different trips Steve has taken, to different places all over the world, and also we hear about his experiences listening to music.You'd think that after all the discussion of compensation in POTB, that being blind might make a person more sensitive to music, but EAVESDROPPING proves that this is not necessarily the case.

As a commonplace book, however, EAVESDROPPING works besutifully, for Kuusisto has a knack for remembering and quoting many of the wisest and funniest sayings he has heard over the years."Hearing poetry starts the psychological mechanism of prayer," he avers, quoting from Theodore Roethke and whether or not you believe Roethke's formulation it's nice to hear the sentiment put so succinctly.At times the book descends into a laundry list of memorable shows he went to: "a Frank Zappa concert in Montreal in the dead of winter; my favorite reggae band, Toots and the Maytals, in New York; Carnbegie Hall for the tenor Jose Carreras; Placido Domingo at the Metropolitan Opera; Bob Dylan on a rainy summer night outdoors; Vladimir Horovitz in Chicago . . ."I can't even type any more, it's too boring.But overall a beautiful book filled with memorable little apercus from one of our greatest writers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable.
EAVESDROPPING: A MEMOIR OF BLINDNESS AND LISTENING tells of a blind poet who had to cope with a life without sight - but it's much more than just another memoir of coping. EAVESDROPPING asks - and answers - the essential questions of why and how go on with life without sight, providing an emphasis on the author's travels and what he could experience on these journeys sans sight. Chapters tell not how to cope with being blind, but how to get the most out of life under conditions of affliction and change. Invaluable.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch ... Read more

7. The unseen minority: A social history of blindness in America
by Frances A Koestler
Hardcover: 559 Pages (1976)

Isbn: 0679505393
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8. Scattered Shadows: A Memoir of Blindness and Vision
by John Howard Griffin
Paperback: 230 Pages (2004-05)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$8.68
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Asin: 1570755396
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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This never before published memoir by the author of Black Like Me is an extraordinary chronicle of the triumph of the human spirit. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Scattered thoughts
Griffin has an interesting story to tell, but the memoir he wrote is all over the place.Heavily based on journals he kept for the ten years after the World War II injury that caused him to go blind, this book is not just about living without sight --Griffin is unfocused, also treating in detail classical music, Gregorian chant, monastic life, Catholicism, fiction writing and his longing for a family. For me, these topics were only of mixed interest.Perhaps if he'd had time to edit it himself before his death, the organization would have been better, but the prose is chronically unexciting.

As a blind man, Griffin resisted the overtures of pity offered to him by the world, but he comes off as stuck in his own head -- not self-pitying exactly, but fixated on the religious faith that helped him learn to accept his disability. Griffin knows that his sin is pride, but he never seems to do anything about it, and none of the other people who appear in the book, blind or sighted, seem real because ultimately, he seems interested only in his own inner life.(This is bad news for a novelist!)When he writes about his novels, which met with censorship and limited commercial success, he is clearly working out a grudge, and it's boring to read.

I picked up this book because I have a progressive eye disease myself and I'm interested in books about the experience of blindness, but Griffin's story is so narrowly personal that I didn't learn a thing. He writes that being disabled taught him a lot and made him concentrate on the important things in life, blah blah blah, but in the final section, when he miraculously regains his eyesight, he seems to take it all back as he rhapsodizes about the beauties of seeing.I found this depressing and felt a little betrayed.

If you are considering buying this book, I recommend reading the first ten pages first and seeing if you like them.Because it certainly doesn't get any better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get this book!
This is a book for that special bookshelf of about a dozen classics that burn with relevance and can be read again and again.John H. Griffin was not only a skilled author, but he lived one of the most amazing lives of the 20th century, aptly described by Robert Bonazzi in the book's introduction.Of course, Griffin is well known for dying his skin, posing as a negro, and reporting on his experiences in the book Black Like Me.Amazingly enough, Black Like Me is only one episode in an improbable life.Scattered Shadows covers Griffin's developing blindness, and eventual recovery.Griffin reflects upon music, literature, and religion as his sight departs as a result of a World War II injury.The author has been underappreciated since his death.Hopefully Scattered Shadows will rekindle interest in Griffin, a person worth knowing ... Read more

9. Hysterical Blindness
by Laura Cahill
 Paperback: Pages (1999-06)
list price: US$7.50 -- used & new: US$7.30
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Asin: 0822217155
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars I only saw the movie
i want to read the play because i think it will probably be a lot better than the film which i was really looking forward to and did enjoy, but not as much as i thought i would. Uma Thurman and Juliette Lewis are two very great actresses and they prove this again in this film, but the writing of the screenplay and the direction lacked something... Im excited to read the actual play though. ... Read more

10. Taking Hold: My Journey Into Blindness
by Sally Hobart Alexander
Hardcover: 128 Pages (1994-11-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$4.99
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Asin: 0027004023
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Read this and then buy the sequel.This true life story would make a great movie!
I absolutely enjoyed reading this book.The author, who became blind as an adult, writes honestly and movingly about adjusting to life as a blind woman in a sighted world.The reading level is written for grades 7-12, but adults would also enjoy reading this autobiography.

I wish the author would publish a new edition of this book and combine it with her second autobiography, which was published two years later, in 1997.The sequel, which I read first, made far more sense once I was able to locate this book - Taking Hold: My Journey Into Blindness, which is out of print and difficult to find.

5-0 out of 5 stars It Took Hold
Sally Hobart Alexander touched the lives of twenty-four reluctant readers in a Connecticut high school English class. My class spent much of this spring exploring a variety of human challenges. Alexander's book was one of our sources, and the class was completely consumed by her story.Theauthor drives home the idea that her loss of sight was the beginning of apowerful and personal journey that took her to the edge of human discovery.Never maudlin or self-indulgent, Alexander stares adversity square in itsfrightening face and wins! The book is a celebration of love and hope, andboth students and teachers were inspired.

5-0 out of 5 stars It Took Hold
Sally Hobart Alexander touched the lives of twenty-four reluctant readers in a Connecticut high school English class. My class spent much of this spring exploring a variety of human challenges. Alexander's book was one ofour sources, and the class was completely consumed by her story.Theauthor drives home the idea that her loss of sight was the beginning of apowerful and personal journey that took her to the edge of human discovery.Never maudlin or self-indulgent, Alexander stares adversity square in itsfrightening face and wins! The book is a celebration of love and hope, andboth students and teachers were inspired. ... Read more

by Ph.D., Master Deac Cataldo Carol E. McMahon
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-01-14)
list price: US$7.99
Asin: B001PKUTKA
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In THE BLINDNESS CURE, meditation is transformed by Western efficiency.A new “feedback method” solves the problem of wandering minds.The result is a quantum leap in the quest for happiness - a straight line to enlightenment.

The Feedback Method
Trained as a research psychologist, author McMahon explains how the method works.Meditation, she says, has an “active ingredient.”Attention makes meditation effective, but attention is hard to hold on to and slips away unseen.Meditation lacks a way to monitor attention, a way to see what you are doing.It lacks “feedback.”The new method has it.
In the feedback method, attention is focused on the bull’s eye of a disc.This holds the eyes still, keeping the image in the same place on the eye’s retina, using up photo-pigment (as in exposing photographic film), and creating visual distortions in the form of light.As long as you pay attention you see the light.When the mind wanders, however, the eyes wander and the light disappears.
The light is feedback.Seeing the light you attend to your attention: mind your mind!The light is receptor fatigue.Put to use as feedback it harnesses attention and assures success.With feedback you can hold on to attention the way you would grab a rope for a tow.And where does attention take you?Straight to awareness.

“Seeing the Light”
The “blindness” in the title is low awareness.If full awareness is one hundred percent, we have as little as five percent on average.This low awareness keeps us from happiness.
The feedback method restores awareness, guiding you straight to meditation’s grand prize - the breakthrough to full awareness known as enlightenment.Your eyes open to beauty, your senses to pleasure, your mind to truth and your heart to love.Full awareness is nothing less than highest enlightenment.


Chapter 1:A Breakthrough; A New Tool; A Guarantee
Chapter 2:A Beginner Exercise
Chapter 3:“Original Perfection:” A Baby’s Awareness
Chapter 4:Confusion and Illusion: How Concepts Blind Us
Chapter 5:Self-Interest and the Illusion of Love
Chapter 6:The Feedback Method
Chapter 7:How to Use and Prevent Pain
Chapter 8:Trouble-Shooting
Chapter 9:How to Stay Motivated
Chapter 10:Advanced Practice
Chapter 11:Breakthrough!
Chapter 12:Facets of the Jewel
Chapter 13:How to See God
Chapter 14:Being Love
Appendix: Exercise Index

Complete Self-guidance
Complete self-guidance is offered here: feedback guides your practice, and self-tests guide your progress.Nearly two hundred self-tests measure attention; awareness, capacity for pleasure and capacity for love.Separate chapters offer trouble-shooting, help with motivation, and true story inspiration.

Living Enlightenment
Woven through the chapters are the words and experiences of Master Deac Cataldo, the sixth and only living Master in his martial arts lineage.He contributes wisdom passed down through centuries by word of mouth in face to face teachings, making a new wisdom source available to readers and energizing the book with living enlightenment.

Unprecedented Power
The fail-proof feedback method, and easy step-by-step instructions make this self-help of unprecedented power.Here meditation’s passive wait is traded for “a power tool that sharpens with use and cuts through everything.”Expect to see the light in more ways than one.

... Read more

12. Inattentional Blindness
by Arien Mack, Irvin Rock
Paperback: 287 Pages (2000-07-31)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$24.66
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Asin: 0262632039
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Many people believe that merely by opening their eyes, they seeeverything in their field of view. In Inattentional Blindness,Arien Mack and Irvin Rock make the radical claim that there is noconscious perception of the visual world without attention to it. Thephenomenon of inattentional blindness has theoretical importance forcognitive psychologists studying perception, attention, andconsciousness, as well as for philosophers and neuroscientistsinterested in the problem of consciousness. ... Read more

13. The Encyclopedia of Blindness and Vision Impairment (Facts on File Library of Health and Living)
by Susan Shelly, Allan Richard, M.D. Rutzen, Jill Sardegna, Scott M., M.D. Steidl
Hardcover: 356 Pages (2002-08)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$24.94
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Asin: 0816042802
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More than 500 detailed entries are included in clear, concise language with a minimum of technical jargon. The volume incorporates a history of blindness and vision impairment with an A-to-Z presentation of health issues, types of surgery, medications, medical terminology and social issues. ... Read more

14. Blindness and visual impairments: information and advocacy organizations
by Unknown
Paperback: 56 Pages (2007-01-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$13.99
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Asin: B003HNP1BK
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This volume is produced from digital images created through the University of Michigan University Library's large-scale digitization efforts. The Library seeks to preserve the intellectual content of items in a manner that facilitates and promotes a variety of uses. The digital reformatting process results in an electronic version of the original text that can be both accessed online and used to create new print copies. The Library also understands and values the usefulness of print and makes reprints available to the public whenever possible. This book and hundreds of thousands of others can be found in the HathiTrust, an archive of the digitized collections of many great research libraries. For access to the University of Michigan Library's digital collections, please see http://www.lib.umich.edu and for information about the HathiTrust, please visit http://www.hathitrust.org ... Read more

15. The Heathen in His Blindness...: Asia, the West and the Dynamic of Religion
by S.N. Balagangadhara
 Hardcover: 503 Pages (2005-12-01)
-- used & new: US$69.88
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Asin: 8173046085
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Most intellectuals agree that Christianity had influenced Western culture. Members from different cultures experience many aspects of the world differently. This title serves as a theoretical study of both culture and religion in the West. ... Read more

16. Do You Remember the Color Blue: The Questions Children Ask About Blindness
by Sally Hobart Alexander
Hardcover: 48 Pages (2000-03-01)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$17.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000IOEV0I
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Children are often curious about blindness, but are told that it is impolite to pose their questions to a blind person. Not so, says Sally Hobart Alexander, who lost her sight at the age of twenty-six. In this informative book, illustrated with photos of Sally and her family, the author answers thirteen thought-provoking questions that children have asked her, for example, "If your eyes don't see, do they work at all?" "How do you write?" and "Has being blind changed you?"

"This book is sure to interest young people curious about how the blind interact with their world." (Booklist)

"A witty, wise, inspiring book." (Kirkus Reviews, pointer review) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Honest answers to good questions about blindness
Kids sure ask better questions than adults a lot of the time!Good thing that Mrs Alexander is prepared to answer them in an informative way.

She explains how she lost her sight completely in her mid twenties because of a mysterious disease causing blood vessels in her retinas to bleed.Sally doesn't gloss over the grieving she went through and the difficulties she faced, and the need for constant concentration even now.But the book has an optimistic tone, explaining how she met her husband on a blind date (she notes with irony), and how her life as a wife, mother, writer and even gardener is very fulfilling.

There are interesting insights how blind people function in a sighted world, e.g. accessing information through Braille, talking books or the Optacon (optical-tactile converter), travelling with a cane or guide dogs, cooking, choosing clothes, and much else.She even discusses her visit to a school for deaf kids and whether it's better to be blind or deaf, and the effect of blindness on her religious faith (increasing it) and that of her loved ones (the opposite effect).

4-0 out of 5 stars Learn About Blindness
Author Sally Hobart Alexander does remember the color blue because she lost her sight completely at age 26.In this book, she answers 13 questions children have asked her about going blind.Alexander's honesty and wit discussing how she met her husband, ways her two sighted children played tricks on her and how she handles day to day activities, allows the reader to understand how a blind person lives a happy, fulfilling life. A good choice for a 4th or 5th grader. Included in this book is an activity, "What does it feel like to be blind?"also a note about blindness, a list of resources and an index.The black and white photographs of Alexander, her family and innovative gadgets are set on black, white or gray backgrounds.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Parallel Universe
You know that you're not supposed to be nosey and ask questions about someone's disability. But Sally Hobart Alexander, the author of this book, travels around the country giving talks to people about her experience with her blindness. She invites, and receives, a lot of questions from childrenand teens, and in this book she tries to answer some of them.In somerespects, it is a very satisfying book, because it calls attention to themillions of little details of ordinary life that usually require eyesight.How do you know what's in the refrigerator? How do you know what clothesmatch? Many of us don't consider that you need to face the person you aretalking to, or where to extend our hands for a handshake. Because Alexanderwas not born blind (she lost her sight gradually over two years, when shewas in her twenties), she is aware of all of the differences, and she isgenerous in sharing her experiences. But this is not just a book aboutthe details of living without sight. This book also shares some of theemotional experience of losing vision--the frustration, disappointment, andanger Alexander had to work through. And then the positive feelings oftriumph, as she learned that happiness and success do not depend on theability to see with your eyes. Basically an upbeat, interesting story, Ifound the writing a little weak. But I would recommend this book stronglyfor anyone who is struggling with any kind of disability, or anyone who issimply curious about blindness, because it is truly inspirational andfrank. ... Read more

17. Color-Blindness: Its Danger & Its Detection
by Benjamin Joy Jeffries
Paperback: 362 Pages (2010-04-20)
list price: US$32.75 -- used & new: US$19.02
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Asin: 1148935916
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This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more

18. The Songs of Blind Folk: African American Musicians and the Cultures of Blindness (Corporealities: Discourses of Disability)
by Terry Rowden
Paperback: 184 Pages (2009-09-21)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$22.95
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Asin: 0472050648
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"Rowden has wedded ethnomusicology and disability studies to offer a fresh approach to the study of African American popular music. The Songs of Blind Folk undermines many of the defining mythologies and tropes of blind musicians, including the perception that they are successful because they compensate for the loss of vision."
---Mark Anthony Neal, Duke University

"Illuminates how the enduring phenomenon of blind African American musicians emerged from brutal conditions, how these musicians were deployed in the burgeoning American iconography of race and 'freakdom,' and how they negotiated this hazardous cultural terrain . . . the book is timely, well-historicized, and rich in insight."
---Kari Winter, University at Buffalo

The Songs of Blind Folk explores the ways that the lives and careers of blind and visually impaired African American musicians and singers have mirrored the changes in America's image of African Americans and the social positioning and possibilities of the entire black community. The book offers a historically grounded consideration of African American performers and their audiences, and the ways that blindness, like blackness, has affected the way the music has been produced and received. Author Terry Rowden considers the controversial nineteenth-century prodigy Blind Tom Bethune; blues singers and songwriters such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, who achieved an unprecedented degree of visibility and acceptance in the 1920s and '30s; spiritual and gospel musicians such as the Blind Boys of Alabama; celebrated jazz and rhythm and blues artists Art Tatum, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Ray Charles; and finally, perhaps the best known of all blind performers, Stevie Wonder.

Terry Rowden is Assistant Professor of English at the City University of New York, Staten Island. He is coeditor of Transnational Cinema: The Film Reader.

... Read more

19. Colour Blindness: Causes and Effects
by Donald McIntyre
Paperback: 112 Pages (2002-03-14)
list price: US$20.65 -- used & new: US$31.26
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Asin: 0954188608
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20. Blindness (British Literature Series)
by Henry Green
Paperback: 214 Pages (2001-03-01)
list price: US$12.50 -- used & new: US$6.99
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Asin: 1564782654
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Blinded in an accident on his way home from boarding school, John Haye must reevaluate his life and the possibilities for his future. His stepmother--worried that, blind and dependent, he'll spend the rest of his life with her--wants to marry him off to anyone who will take him, provided she's of the "right" social class. Contrary to her hopes, John falls in love with the daughter of the town drunk (who is also the town parson). She whisks him off to London, where in this strange city he is confined to a room above a major thoroughfare while she gets on with her life.

BLINDNESS was first published when Henry Green was an undergraduate at Oxford. Highly praised as a master of high-modernism, Green went on to write eight other novels, including CONCLUDING and DOTING. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Promising.
John Haye, a rich adolescent in his final year at an English boarding school is accidentally blinded. He returns to his country home to live with his stepmother. He befriends Joan, who lives with her alcoholic ex-minister father. His step-mother dispproves of Joan. They split up.
The description of the unlikely accident and the medical details are sparse and show no evidence of research or firsthand knowledge. (This was written in 1926 and writers didn't bother much with research then). I got the impression that Green had decided philosophically how someone would react to blindness and made his character's reaction fit that preconception.
It's the sort of English novel in which the only people with jobs are servants. Joan and her father live in abjects poverty (partly because of his expenditure in gin) but no one ever mentions the w- word.
I think you need some previous familiarity with English writing of the period to enjoy this. The first few chapters are set in an upper class boarding school, then the scene changes to a great country house with lots of servants around. It's Evelyn Waugh and Anthony Powell territory.
There are some great characters. The monstrous step-mother, blind in her own way, is a wonderful comic creation.The Prospero/Miranda relationship of Joan and her father is touching. The descriptions of rural scenes are wonderful.

4-0 out of 5 stars Those who will not see
This is a very simple story about a pretty ordinary young man from the English gentry class who loses his eyesight in a tragic accident.Poor guy.Fortunately for the reader of _Blindness_, this accident does not turn John Haye into a saint.

Now, you've all seen books and articles and TV shows about unfortunate victims who adjust to their new state and become an inspiration to all about them - lead them to victory or clarify their understanding of the good life or something like that.If that's your cup of tea, _Touched by an Angel_ is on soon.

Rather, this novel is for those who are interested in what blindness might actually be like, with or without eyes.Indeed, John starts out this novel with his sight intact, and uses it mostly to make foolish or cruel judgments about his fellow students, his dormitory manager, his family and his schoolwork.After his accident his powers of observation actually improve as far as his sensitivity to his environment is concerned, but his knowledge of himself and his fellow human beings remains pretty sparse.

His opinion of his stepmother changes every few seconds, whether she's with him or not.He meets a girl named Joan, falls hard for her, and tells himself the entire story of her life - all the while insisting upon calling her by the wrong name.He considers his country home desperately boring until he gets to London, by which time that same country home turns in his mind to a virtual paradise.This kid is a mess.

While John is thus kidding himself, of course, the characters who can see are doing just the same thing.John's stepmother can't make up her mind from moment to moment whether to marry John off or keep him with her, or what to do with him - or herself, for that matter.John's old nurse doesn't seem to realize whether or not John has changed at all from the time he was an infant.John's would-be girlfriend Joan, daughter of an alcoholic former parson, thinks of the local men as the more attractive if they look as though they could hurt her, and can't make up her mind whether she admires her father or loathes him.As for that alcoholic father himself - well, you get the idea.None of these people, even those with eyes, can see anyone as they are.

But the novel is more than just an exercise in cheap irony.Henry Green drew high praise from all of his contemporaries for at least one very important reason; he described life as exactly and honestly as possible.He may have created in John Haye a bit of a bonehead, and a self-indulgent bonehead at that, but he also created an amazingly clear world for him to live in and a beautiful way of describing it.And eventually, it's that same gift for genuine observation and sensitivity that saves John Haye from a completely self-pitying life and seems to give him some kind of redemption.In short, this is the story of a bonehead who learns to quiet his mind and just watch the world.

So Green restricted himself to plain facts - accurate description of the physical world, his characters' inner thoughts - and refrained from any authorial judgment of any of his people.He gave us true portraits of men and women from all social classes, with all their virtues and all their shortcomings.And in limiting his writing to mere reportage, he successfully guided his readers through a blind man's world and showed us the true meaning of blindness itself.No mean feat for a college undergraduate.

Benshlomo says, To see the facts is the beginning of wisdom. ... Read more

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