by Ryan Knighton


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On his 18th birthday, Ryan Knighton was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), 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. Knighton learns to drive while unseeing; has his first significant relationship—with a deaf woman; navigates the punk rock scene and men's washrooms; learns to use a cane; and tries to pass for seeing while teaching English to children in Korea. Stumbling literally and emotionally into darkness, into love, into couch-shopping at Ikea, into adulthood, and into truce if not acceptance of his identity as a blind man, his writerly self uses his disability to provide a window onto the human condition. His experience of blindness offers unexpected insights into sight and the other senses, culture, identity, language, 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781586484408
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 05/28/2007
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Ryan Knighton teaches contemporary literature and creative writing at Capilano College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and served for two years as editor of the literary magazine The Capilano Review. The author of a book of poetry and co-author of a collection of short fiction, Knighton has also published widely as a journalist and essayist. He has also produced, written and performed radio monologues and documentaries about blindness for the CBC.

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Cockeyed 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
peggy09 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This memoir is funny and insightful; easy-to-read and entertaining while also being thought-provoking.The author provides an interesting perspective on the process of finding his identity while losing his sight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cannot thank the author enough for writing this book. As the mother of a son who was recently diagnosed with RP , I appreciated every story, insight, and recommendation for helping and respecting people with visual impairments. I am recommending this book to all of the people who know and love my son. Right now it is my best reference for knowing the real life implications of what his life may bring. No doctor can ever explain or understand the day to day implications of RP as the author does. While i know that everyones experiences and proognosis are unique, I know that this was an absolutely incredible book for me to read. Thanks again to the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cockeyed is a memoir about a man named Ryan Knighton. His story grasps readers' attention because of his incredible, humorous tale. When Ryan was seventeen he began to have problems driving at night. He would get into many accidents ruining his mom's oil tank and finding him in strange places. Ryan was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa that usually starts with night blindness and then progressing to total blindness. In Ryan's case he started with night blindness and is almost completely blind. He explains how he sees a bunch of waves and in his good eye he can only see less than half the letter of "m" in his book because of his tunnel vision. Ryan's story takes his readers on many journeys of how he struggled with becoming blind. He elaborates on what it was like to use a white cane for the first time and how hard it was to find public restrooms when no one gave him well instructed directions. He also told about how it wasn't easy to figure out if people where taking to him. Ryan tells about how he found his wife and the system they have for him to easily get around outside of the house. Ryan's tale explains that just because he was blind he didn't give up. He still went to Korea and taught children in Apple Class. He taught without anyone knowing he was blind in Korea. This memoir is a spirit lifter for anyone who needs it. The book gives a feeling that if this man can work and discover the world while being blind then what's holding me back from my ambitions. I recommend this book to anyone who is struggling through something or just wants to read a book about one incredible story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago