Imagine that the most severe physical pain and sorrow of your life was caused by the people you trusted most. In the spring of 2007, Belo Cipriani was beaten and robbed of his sight at the hands of his childhood friends.
Blind: A Memoir chronicles the two years immediately following the assault. At the age of 26, Belo found himself learning to walk, cook, and date in the dark. Armed with visual memory and his newly developed senses, Belo shows readers what the blind see. He narrates the little known world of the blind, where microwaves, watches, and computers talk, and where guide dogs guard as well as lead.
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About the Author
Belo Miguel Cipriani is a columnist with the Bay Area Reporter. In 2017, his column on disability issues was recognized by the National Center on Disability and Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. He is the author of Blind: A Memoir (2011), which received an Honorable Mention for Best Nonfiction Book by the 2011 Rainbow Awards, and an Honorable Mention for Best Culture Book by the 2012 Eric Hoffer Awards. He has received fellowships from Lambda Literary and Yaddo, and was the first blind writer to attend the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Cipriani has guest lectured at Yale University, University of San Francisco, and University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, and was the Writer-in-Residence at Holy Names University from 2012 to 2016. His writing has appeared in several publications, including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News, Business Insider, and HuffPost. He was a contributor to the Ed Baxter Morning Show on iHeart Radio, and was also a frequent commentator on San Francisco’s KGO Radio, as well as on several NPR shows. Cipriani has received numerous awards for his disability advocacy work, including being named “Best Disability Advocate” by SF Weekly (2015), an “Agent of Change” by HuffPost (2015), and an “ABC7 Star” by KGO-TV (2016). He was also honored as the first blind Grand Marshal at San Francisco’s 45th Annual Gay Pride Parade. He lives in St. Louis Park, MN with his partner, James, and his guide dog, Oslo.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It has been said that everyone has a story to tell, but what a powerful one Belo Cipriani had with his memoir Blind. I finished this book in two nights and I relived the past few years of his life when he was brutally beaten blind by people he knew. His moving story is told with candor (and humor) and though I can only assume I would have completely given up on everything and have been full of self pity - this amazing man shares a journey of strength and endurance like I cannot imagine. Fascinating how losing something can make someone so enlightened in all that they do. I highly recommend this book about a period in this incredible person's life that has shaped who he will forever be as a person and as a writer.
I should state right off that I met Belo when he was starting his graduate studies at the university that I worked at, and my draw to him personally was in no small part due to his serene demeanor, brilliant smile, and his adorable guide dog Madge. I never asked Belo how he became blind, I've seen too often how people focus on the obvious about a person and it shapes the relationship from there on, so I only wanted to know him as a person who always smiled when I said hello and complimented my on my perfume. That doesn't mean that I wondered about his story since we all have one, and I knew that it would be a doozy when I did discover it. I did read this in one sitting because I could not put it down. His story is amazing, not because I know him now as a man who navigates the seeing world as a blind person, but because of the honesty that he tells it with. The horror of how he became blind, the depths of depression as his world drastically changed overnight, his humility in learning to deal with everyday mundane tasks in new ways- all of these things are apparent in his story. But what makes it special is seeing the humor, the kindness, the grace, the openness, the gentleness, and beyond all else the lovingness that Belo IS. If Oprah WERE continuing her show, Belo would have a spot on it to share his story with the masses, to inspire them, and (especially for those of us who are sighted) to have us HEAR life in a new way.