cover image The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found

The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found

Frank Bruni. Avid Reader, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-1-982108-57-1

New York Times columnist Bruni (Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be) imparts in this generous memoir the wisdom he learned after he began to lose his eyesight. One morning in October 2017, Bruni woke up with blurry vision, only to later discover that a stroke had destroyed the optic nerve in one of his eyes, leaving the other eye vulnerable to a similar fate and Bruni at risk of total blindness. “[I]t made me tremble, tested me and forced me to see in a new way,” he writes. Coming to terms with his new reality, Bruni delves into the emotional, psychological, and social tolls of losing his eyesight, while musing on the experience of aging, connecting his story to the way Joe Biden’s age was discussed when he was running for president. Despite being widely considered as past his “prime,” Bruni argues that the septuagenarian candidate “defied the naysayers”: “what Biden lacked in zip, he made up for in zen.” It’s a compassionate take on growing older that, when combined with sanguine insights on living with compromised vision, illustrates Bruni’s knack for writing about the unpredictable beauty of the human condition. Smartly mixing memoir and cultural criticism, this movingly speaks to an entire generation. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (Mar.)