In the Country of the Blind

American writer Edward Hoagland is the author of 25 books, ranging from collections of naturist essays and short stories to full-length novels. Now 85, he has lost most of his sight, which makes his latest novel, about a man who is going blind and struggling to adapt, especially poignant. Divorced by his wife, separated from his children and unable to continue in his Wall Street job, Press has left his plush Connecticut life and is holed up in his Vermont cabin. Among his through-the-woods neighbors are hunters, drug runners, a hippie commune, Christian evangelicals and others struggling in their own ways to get by. Press must rely on the kindness of strangers—that or return to Connecticut and an assisted-living residence—who turn out to be surprisingly welcoming to this suddenly needy and vulnerable man. Hoagland masterfully pulls the reader into Press’ world, carefully avoiding sentimentality while appreciating the challenges blindness brings. This book is available in the Butte County Library.