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In which I talk about the beautiful, sad, and frustrating story that is Blind Man's Bluff by James Tate Hill at LitReactor ...while failing to not talk about myself.

· LitReactor,James Tate Hill,Blind Mans Bluff,Review,Disability
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Which is to say, you can read "Blind Man’s Bluff by James Tate Hill: A Review (of sorts)" at LitReactor here. You may also read some excerpt below. And please do most definitely read Blind Man's Bluff, because it will most definitely change your life.


"I want this discussion about Blind Man's Bluff, the new memoir by James Tate Hill, to not be about me. 

"What I want to do is talk about the economical storytelling, the focus on language, how no words are wasted, and the flow. I also want to talk about what it must feel like to think, if I don't figure out this writing thing, what the fuck am I going to do with my life? And I really want to talk about the machinations Hill goes through after being declared legally blind as a teenager (he's diagnosed with Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy) to not only navigate a world not designed or especially empathic to his challenges, but to keep these challenges (and his diagnosis) secret from most of those around him.

"The most frequent compliment heard by people with a disability is I could never do what you do, but everyone knows how to adapt. When it's cold outside, we put on a coat. When it rains, we grab an umbrella. A road ends, so we turn left, turn right, turn around. We adapt because it's all we can do when we cannot change our situation. (page 4)

"We do adapt. I believe that and know it to be true. It's human. And yes, Hill has adapted as well. Yet, if it's not too mean spirited, I want to yell at the younger Hill for not asking for more help along the way. I know that makes me a dick, but that's the parent in me, which is not a comment on Hill's parents, who seem wonderful and supportive. Instead, it’s a selfish desire to yell at people whose lives might be that much easier if they asked for what they need. Hill's description alone of what he must go through to merely cross the street by himself are harrowing enough that they read more like a horror story than someone trying to get to work, school or the grocery store. Not that shopping is very easy for him either, when he can't see the labels before him.

"This isn't only a parent or me being a dick thing though, it's a disability thing as well."