Biographies Ryan Knighton Cockeyed: A Memoir

ISBN 13: 9780143051855

Cockeyed: A Memoir

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9780143051855: Cockeyed: A Memoir

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.

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About the Author:

Ryan Knighton lives in Vancouver and teaches English at Vancouver's CapilanoCollege. A poet, journalist and essayist he writes for the New York Times and Salon.com and is the subject of a documentary entitled 'As Slow as Possible'. Cockeyed is his first book.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Knighton, who teaches at Capilano College in Vancouver, started going blind in his teens, and in this hilarious and unsentimental yet moving memoir, he tells what it was like to lose his eyesight. He was born in the early 1970s, grew up in British Columbia and by 1987 was showing signs of poor vision. He began losing his sight early enough that the time frames of his coming-of-age and his coming-of-blindness overlap. Milestones such as his first driving experiences and his first relationships with girls, which would have been ordinary for other teenagers, were anything but for him. As he moved into adulthood, he also moved further into sightlessness, yet he turns the story into something so bracing that it reads like a travelogue—you can't wait to know where he's going next, whether it's to attend college in Vancouver, teach English in South Korea or get married. Wit can be a weapon, but can also be a kind of walking stick; being so gifted clearly guided Knighton long before anything began to happen to his eyes. Luckily for his readers, he was also gifted with a different kind of care and clear-sightedness, never stumbling into the maudlin. His book is an invitation to take a journey that no reader should refuse, to see life through another lens. (June)
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Ryan Knighton
Published by Penguin Canada (2006)
ISBN 10: 0143051857 ISBN 13: 9780143051855
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