Vanessa V. Friedman
July 11, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Seeing Glass

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Jacquelin Gorman
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it an A-

This touching, lyrical memoir is the story of a few months in the author’s life when her optical nerves simply shut down, transforming her world from a Technicolor universe into a blank slab of gray. As Jacquelin Gorman, in her disability, turns inward, she finds what she ”sees” most clearly are childhood memories: In learning to face her present disaster, she comes to terms with her past. Her vision eventually returns, and with it a renewed appreciation of all the concrete experiences and ephemeral insights it allows her. In The Seeing Glass, Gorman sidesteps cliche (the outer eye versus the inner eye and all that) with impressive skill, viscerally evoking her situation without ever surrendering to self-pity. A-

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