An irreverent, tragicomic, astoundingly articulate memoir about going blind—and growing up
On his eighteenth birthday, Ryan Knighton was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a congenital, progressive disease marked by night-blindness, tunnel vision, and, eventually, total blindness. In this penetrating, nervy memoir, which ricochets between meditation and black comedy, Knighton tells the story of his fifteen-year descent into blindness while incidentally revealing the world of the sighted in all its phenomenal peculiarity.
Stumbling literally and emotionally into darkness, into love, and into adulthood, he uses his disability to provide a window into the human condition. His experience of blindness offers unexpected perspectives on sight and the other senses, culture, identity, language, and our fears and fantasies.
Cockeyed is not a conventional confessional. Knighton is powerful and irreverent in words and thought, and impatient with the preciousness we’ve come to expect from books on disability. Readers will find it hard to put down this wild ride around their everyday world with a wicked, smart, blind guide at the wheel.
About the author
Ryan Knighton's most recent book is Cockeyed: A Memoir (Penguin Books, 2006). He is also the co-author of Cars with George Bowering (Coach House, 2002). His journalism and satirical essays have appeared in such magazines as Utne and Saturday Night, and in such newspapers as The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, and The Montreal Gazette. He is presently undertaking a documentary film with director Scott Smith (Falling Angels) called As Slow As Possible. It involves a pipe organ and over six hundred years of hope.