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As reviewed by Toni Whitmont in the March 2010 Booktopia Buzz. Click here to see all of Booktopia's Newsletters.
Part philosophy part autobiography all inspiration, this beautifully written memoir is is presented as a lovely demi-hardback.
When Hugues de Montalembert was blinded in a sudden, terrible act of violence, he set out to see the world. In luminous and sensual language, he recounts his journeys through Indonesia, the Himalayas, and Greenland. But he also charts a journey into the deepest places of the heart, where fear and courage, love and rage create spectacular vistas most of us will never see. As much poem as memoir, Invisible is like a streak of lightning against an ink-black sky. (Geraldine Brooks, bestselling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize)
With a rare and enviable discipline and a becoming modesty, he has distilled what is essential from a life lived through and then beyond (far, far beyond!) misfortune.
Reviewed by Toni Whitmont, Booktopia Buzz Editor - March 2010
You live in a city like New York. You read the papers. You look at the television. But you never think it will happen to you. It happened to me one evening. One summer night in 1978, Hugues de Montalembert returned home to his New York City apartment to find two men robbing him. In a violent struggle, one of the assailants threw paint thinner in Hugues' face. Within a few hours, he was completely blind.
Eloquent and provocative, Invisible moves beyond the horrific events of that night to what happened to Hugues "after" he lost his sight: his rehabilitation, his solo travels around the world, and the remarkable way he learned to "see" even without the use of his eyes.
Without a trace of self-pity, Hugues describes his transition from an up-and-coming painter to a blind man who had to learn to walk with a cane. His status changed in the eyes of other people as their reactions ranged from avoidance to making him their confidant. Hugues traveled to faraway places and learned to trust strangers and find himself at home in any situation.
Part philosophy, part autobiography, part inspiration, Invisible will change the way readers understand reality and their place in the world.
About the Author
Born in France, Hugues de Montalembert is a painter and photographer who was blinded during a violent assault while living in New York in 1978. He is the author of one previous book in English, Eclipse (1985). His story was also the basis of the acclaimed documentary film Black Sun (2007). He currently lives in Paris.
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Comments about Invisible:
I have bought this book for several friends facing very difficult times. It makes one realise that there IS always someone in a more challenging situation.
""Invisible "has a purity, a clarity that is truly inspiring."
--"Los Angeles Times"
Number Of Pages: 127
Published: 1st March 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 14.2 x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.24