Blind Man’s Bluff

Norton. Aug. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9780393867176. $25.95. MEMOIR
In this memoir, novelist Hill writes about losing his eyesight due to a condition called Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy. It is not a gradual loss of vision; he describes a dramatic and almost immediate onset of legal blindness when he was a teenager in high school. Neither is it a complete loss of vision: Hill spends much of the book discussing his college and grad school experiences with blindness, discussing the methods he used to pass as a sighted person, and detailing the many failures of accessibility he encountered in higher education. Hill is a writer and editor by trade (his award-winning first novel is Academy Gothic), and he tells his story beautifully and effectively. The difficulties Hill experienced could make for a bleak tale, especially as he talks about the negative impacts of his disability on his marriage, but he successfully blends humorous moments into the heaviest parts. Notably, the author gives insight into what made him become a writer in the first place, and how writing become a solace of sorts.
VERDICT Hill has written an account of identity and self-acceptance that is likely to interest many readers, perhaps especially disabled teens and young adults. Librarians might consider acquiring the audiobook as well.
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