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For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind
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Published:
Little, Brown and Company 2014
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Available from OverDrive
Description
In the tradition of Oliver Sacks's The Island of the Colorblind, Rosemary Mahoney tells the story of Braille Without Borders, the first school for the blind in Tibet, and of Sabriye Tenberken, the remarkable blind woman who founded the school.
Fascinated and impressed by what she learned from the blind children of Tibet, Mahoney was moved to investigate further the cultural history of blindness. As part of her research, she spent three months teaching at Tenberken's international training center for blind adults in Kerala, India, an experience that reveals both the shocking oppression endured by the world's blind, as well as their great resilience, integrity, ingenuity, and strength.
By living among the blind, Rosemary Mahoney enables us to see them in fascinating close up, revealing their particular "quality of ease that seems to broadcast a fundamental connection to the world." Having read For the Benefit of Those Who See, you will never see the world in quite the same way again.
"In this intelligent and humane book, Rosemary Mahoney writes of people who are blind . . . She reports on their courage and gives voice, time and again, to their miraculous dignity." — Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/14/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316248709, 9780316256070
ASIN:
B00CO7FKXE
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Rosemary Mahoney. (2014). For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Rosemary Mahoney. 2014. For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches From the World of the Blind. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Rosemary Mahoney, For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches From the World of the Blind. Little, Brown and Company, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Rosemary Mahoney. For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches From the World of the Blind. Little, Brown and Company, 2014.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: Rose Tremain's fiction has won the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music and Silence) and has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize (Restoration) and the Orange Prize (The Colour). Her stories have appeared in the New Yorker and the Paris Review, among other periodicals, and one was selected for The O. Henry Prize Stories 2008. Rose Tremain lives in Norfolk and London with the biographer Richard Holmes.
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In the tradition of Oliver Sacks's The Island of the Colorblind, Rosemary Mahoney tells the story of Braille Without Borders, the first school for the blind in Tibet, and of Sabriye Tenberken, the remarkable blind woman who founded the school.
Fascinated and impressed by what she learned from the blind children of Tibet, Mahoney was moved to investigate further the cultural history of blindness. As part of her research, she spent three months teaching at Tenberken's international training center for blind adults in Kerala, India, an experience that reveals both the shocking oppression endured by the world's blind, as well as their great resilience, integrity, ingenuity, and strength.
By living among the blind, Rosemary Mahoney enables us to see them in fascinating close up, revealing their particular "quality of ease that seems to broadcast a fundamental connection to the world." Having read For the Benefit of Those Who See, you will never see the...
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fullDescription
In the tradition of Oliver Sacks's The Island of the Colorblind, Rosemary Mahoney tells the story of Braille Without Borders, the first school for the blind in Tibet, and of Sabriye Tenberken, the remarkable blind woman who founded the school.
Fascinated and impressed by what she learned from the blind children of Tibet, Mahoney was moved to investigate further the cultural history of blindness. As part of her research, she spent three months teaching at Tenberken's international training center for blind adults in Kerala, India, an experience that reveals both the shocking oppression endured by the world's blind, as well as their great resilience, integrity, ingenuity, and strength.
By living among the blind, Rosemary Mahoney enables us to see them in fascinating close up, revealing their particular "quality of ease that seems to broadcast a fundamental connection to the world." Having read For the Benefit of Those Who See, you will never see the world in quite the same way again.
"In this intelligent and humane book, Rosemary Mahoney writes of people who are blind . . . She reports on their courage and gives voice, time and again, to their miraculous dignity." — Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: -George Howe Colt, author of The Big House (finalist for The National Book Award in nonfiction) and Brothers
      • content: Rosemary Mahoney is one of a handful of nonfiction writers so original and so surprising that I look forward to each new book with an excitement bordering on impatience. What makes For the Benefit of Those Who See especially absorbing is that it turns on Mahoney's greatest strength: her idiosyncratic and unblinking eye. As it explores the world of the blind, this provocative and revelatory work teaches us a great deal about what it means to see. And when I finished this book, I returned to the world feeling that all my senses had been sharpened.
      • premium: False
      • source: -Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club
      • content: This joyful, thoughtful book took me on an emotional journey and introduced me to people I'll never forget. With her wonderfully sharp prose and great sense of humor and humanity, Rosemary Mahoney has written a riveting narrative that combines world-class reporting, science, history, and travel writing. For the Benefit of Those Who See has changed forever the way I view my senses, and made me aware of how I do and don't experience the world.
      • premium: False
      • source: -Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree
      • content: In this intelligent and humane book, Rosemary Mahoney writes of people who are blind, many of them from impoverished cultures with little sympathy for their plight. She reports on their courage and gives voice, time and again, to their miraculous dignity.
      • premium: False
      • source: -Kirkus (Starred Review)
      • content: A spiritual odyssey into the world of the blind....A beautiful meditation on human nature.
      • premium: False
      • source: -Publishers Weekly
      • content: 'The blind can well enough defend themselves,' says Mahoney (Down the Nile) in this beautiful book....Mahoney becomes an exceptional translator for the blind, mediating for what she ends up seeing as two groups of the sighted: those who see with their eyes, and those who see with their minds.
      • premium: False
      • source: - Janet Ingraham Dwyer, Library Journal
      • content: Mahoney's overall story is one of hope and affirmation...this gracious book illuminates blind culture and teaches something of lifeways in Tibet, southern India, and sub-Saharan Africa.
      • premium: False
      • source: -Judith Stone, More.com
      • content: [Mahoney's] research is fascinating, her self-scrutiny refreshing and her prose just the right kind of gorgeous. In this wonderful book we discover along with the author that both sight and its absence come with burdens-and beauties.
      • premium: False
      • source: -Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Book Page
      • content: Riveting...Compulsively readable...Mahoney's beautifully written narrative opens our eyes to the experience of blindness and offers fresh insight into human resilience and the way we view the world.
      • premium: False
      • source: -Bret McCabe, Johns Hopkins Magazine
      • content: For The Benefit of Those Who See is a compassionate realization that seeing isn't the only path to knowing...for the entire book, Mahoney tries to understand sightless reality, and she does it with such blunt tenderness that it lends her writing a shambolic glee. Though she alludes to secondary sources-philosophical considerations of blindness, medical accounts of sight being restored to blind patients-it's her experiences that make Benefit so thoughtful.
      • premium: False
      • source: -Karen Valby, Entertainment Weekly
      • content: A vivid portrait of people and places...It's as if [Mahoney had] turned on the lights in a dark room, revealing how the world appears to those who experience it with their other four senses. The seeing reader will gasp in recognition and understanding, marveling at lives once hidden.
      • premium: False
      • source: -Arun Rath, NPR.org
      • content: Mahoney's vision lends her books an uncanny quality that makes you really feel like you're with her. Weirdly, she says, she had never met a blind person. So Mahoney was apprehensive when she was assigned to write a profile of a woman running the first school for the blind in Tibet. Her experience there served as a prelude for a fuller immersion in the world of the blind, detailed in her new book, For the Benefit of Those Who See.
      • premium: False
      • source: -Suzanne Koven, Boston Globe
      • content: Mahoney's curiosity, inspired by her own 'morbid fear' of losing her sight, led her to investigate many aspects of blindness. Particularly fascinating are her accounts of the founding of the Perkins School for the Blind (now in Watertown) and her review of rare cases in which sight was restored-and not entirely...
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 28, 2013
        “The blind can well enough defend themselves,” says Mahoney (Down the Nile) in this beautiful book about a vibrant leader of the blind, Sabriye Tenberken. German-born Tenberken founded a school for blind children in Tibet—which later became Braille Without Borders—as well as a school in Kerala, India, to train blind teachers. Mahoney, who is sighted, became a teacher at the latter facility and was at first terrified by her decision. All around her, the blind were laughing, thinking, walking without fear and with an impossible patience. She was startled by the way her students easily inhabited “a world dominated by thought rather than appearances.” Doubting herself, she says, “I was not even a well-adjusted sighted person... I was born impatient and annoyed.” For such reasons, she writes, “I was not quite sure I was prepared to teach.” She stumbles through her first challenge—to define “twinkling”—as one might expect of a sighted person in a sightless world. But in time Mahoney becomes an exceptional translator for the blind, mediating for what she ends up seeing as two groups of the sighted: those who see with their eyes, and those who see with their minds. Agent: Betsy Lerner; Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from November 1, 2013
        A spiritual odyssey into the world of the blind. In 2005, Mahoney (Down the Nile Alone: In a Fisherman's Skiff, 2007, etc.) visited Braille Without Borders, Tibet's first school for the blind, founded by German educator Sabriye Tenberken, who herself is blind. It offered classes in "Braille, Chinese, English, computers, mathematics and navigational skills," to blind young Tibetans, many of whom were illiterate and had been living in deplorable conditions in their impoverished villages, where they were a burden to their families and were shunned and bullied by their peers. At first, the author viewed the trip with trepidation, believing the typical stereotype that the blind were deprived of "their real enjoyment of life, their effectuality, and their potential." Mahoney was astonished to see the students' levels of joy and accomplishment. Being blind, many of them said, had given them the opportunity to leave the hardscrabble existence in their villages and attend this wonderful school where they were being educated and making new friends. For the author, the experience was a revelation. Four years later, she volunteered to teach English at a new school that Braille Without Borders was opening in India, attended by adult students from Africa and Latin America as well as Asia who wished to work on behalf of the blind in their own countries. The diversity of the students greatly enhanced the vibrancy of the community, and Mahoney was impressed by their intellectual and spiritual depths. She observed that they navigated the heavily trafficked streets of Kerala with ease. They gathered information about their environment from their other senses in order to recognize people and places, and they lived in a world "dominated by thought rather than appearance and visual details." After all, she writes, "it's the ability to reason and communicate that make us extraordinary." A beautiful meditation on human nature.

        COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        December 1, 2013

        Like many sighted people, Mahoney (Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff) dreaded the idea of going blind and felt uncomfortable around blind people. A magazine assignment sent her to visit Braille Without Borders, Tibet's first educational institution for the blind, and its founder, blind German educator Sabriye Tenberken. Mahoney's encounters with Tenberken and her resilient students inspired her to take a teaching position at Tenberken's International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs (IISE) in Kerala, India, which trains and empowers visually impaired adults. Here she surveys the history of blind education and the surprising, upsetting results of vision restoration surgery but also focuses on the Tibetan children and the IISE students from lands as diverse as Liberia, Japan, and Norway. Readers learn shocking backstories relating to prejudices and ignorance that led to neglect and abuse of blind people--from children kept in permanent confinement to the harvesting of body parts of blind African albinos. Yet in the context of the joy, determination, and dignity of the tellers here, Mahoney's overall story is one of hope and affirmation. VERDICT This gracious book illuminates blind culture and teaches something of lifeways in Tibet, southern India, and sub-Saharan Africa. It should reach a wide general audience and may also bring readers to Tenberken's own work, My Path Leads to Tibet.--Janet Ingraham Dwyer, State Lib. of Ohio, Columbus

        Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
Dispatches from the World of the Blind
popularity
67
publisher
Little, Brown and Company
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