First Post; Date: 2007 March 31; Section: Arts
Books: The Week's Best Reading
Misery memoirs - or ToTs (triumphs over tragedy) as they
are known in the trade - are an acquired taste. Ryan Knighton's
account of encroaching blindness is, however, unusual in
that it's not in the least bit miserable. Of his experiences
as a blind clubber he notes: 'I have argued with empty bar
stools, talked to pillars, bounced off bouncers, pissed between
urinals, and hit on shadows'. It is a tone that sustains
him from the day of his 18th birthday when he was diagnosed
with retinitis pigmentosa - a degenerative disease of the eye
- through his experiences as a teacher in South Korea and Canada
as he sought first to deny and then come to terms with his blindness.
It's a remarkable performance both by him and for the reader
too - the blind leading the sighted.
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