Book cover of the Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight by Andrew Leland

The Country of the Blind was published on July 18, 2023 in the U.S. by Penguin Press, and was a finalist for the 2024 Pulitzer Prize in Memoir. It was also longlisted for the Massachusetts Book Award.

Below is a list of press highlights for the book!


Named one of the best books of the year by the New Yorker, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, NPR, Publishers Weekly, Lithub, and others

Longlisted for the 2024 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, administered by the American Library Association

Named by the Washington Post as one of their 50 Notable Works of Nonfiction

Named one of the 20 best biographies and memoirs of the year by Amazon

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel New Books for Holiday Gifts

Booklist–review, 11/14

The Nation—interview, 9/21

Poets & Writers—New Nonfiction feature on the year’s best debut literary nonfiction (one of five authors), Sept/Oct issue

Washington Post—Staff Picks review, 8/25

Slate—review, 8/18

Wall Street Journal—review, 8/11

People Magazine—People Picks Books, 8/7 issue

New York Times—Op-ed: I Have a Choice to Make About My Blindness, 8/5

Nautilus—excerpt, 8/1

IEEE Spectrum—interview, 8/1

BookPage—interview, August issue

BookBrowse—review, 7/28

San Francisco Chronicle—interview, 7/25

Publishers Weekly—Book Pick of the Week, 7/24

Pittsburgh Post Gazette—review, 7/23

New York Times—review, 7/23

Publishers Weekly—10 New Books with Disability Representation for Adults, 7/21

BookPage—review, 7/21

Daily Hampshire Gazette—profile, 7/20

Eater—Essay for series Low and Slow: Disabled People on Food, 7/18

LitHub—new books out today, 7/18

BookRiot—new books out today, 7/18

LitHub—excerpt, 7/18

The New York Times—book mentioned in The Evening Newsletter, 7/17

Boston Globe—profile, 7/17

The Guardian—review, 7/17

New York Times—profile, 7/17

The New Yorker (online)—first serial essay “The Weekend Essay”, 7/8

LitHub—Most Anticipated Books of 2023, Part Two, 7/6

The Millions—Most Anticipated: The Great 2023B Book Preview, 7/3

AARP—Summer’s top nonfiction books, 6/9

Chicago Tribune—Summer books preview, 6/7 (also ran in Arizona Daily Star, Buffalo News, and more)

Library Journal—review, 6/1

Lithub—25 Nonfiction Books You Need to Read This Summer, 5/25

Publishers Weekly—starred review, 4/24

Kirkus—review, 4/4

Publishers Weekly—Summer Reads Staff Pick, 3/27


BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, Jan 2024

Parallel—interview, 9/13

TED How to Be a Better Human—interview, 9/11

Story of the Week with Joel Stein—interview, 9/7

KCRW Press Play with Madeleine Brand—interview, 9/20

LAist AirTalk with Larry Mantle—interview, 8/30

WBEZ Nerdette—Book Club Pick discussion, 8/29

WTF with Marc Maron—interview, 8/24

LARB Radio Hour—interview, 8/18

The Stacks—interview, 8/16

NPR Fresh Air—interview, 8/8

KCRW Life Examined—interview, 8/6

WBEZ Nerdette—interview, 8/1

Search Engine with PJ Vogt—interview, 7/28

WBUR Here & Now—Recommended in interview with Traci Thomas, 7/27

Eyes on Success—interview, 7/26

FSCast 233—interview, 7/26

Living Blindfully—interview, 7/26

99% Invisible—episode on book, 7/25

KQED Forum—interview, 7/21

Radiolab—rebroadcast “The Right Stuff”, 7/21

BBC Radio 4 In Touch—books on blindness, 7/18

New England Public Media—interview, 7/18

Kurt Vonnegut Radio—interview, 7/18

The Dave Chang Show—interview, 6/22


NBC New York—Bill Goldstein’s book recommendations, 8/27

TED—produced video on the spectrum of blindness, 7/28


Upcoming events

Vancouver, WA / Portland, OR

Sunday April 28, 2pm

Milwaukie Ledding Library

10660 SE 21st Ave, Milwaukie, OR 97222

Monday, April 29, 2024
11: 00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Clark College

Penguin Union Building (PUB) 258 A-B

Columbia Writers Series

in conversation with Justin Taylor!

Online (Zoom), Columbia University

“May Narrative Medicine Rounds”

Wednesday May 1st, 2024

6:00-7:00 pm EDT on Zoom

Dept. of Medical Humanities and Ethics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center

in conversation with Allison Coffelt

Register for Zoom link here

Past events

Bryn Mawr, PA

In conversation with Rodney Evans

Thursday Feb 1, 2024

6:30 p.m.

Great Hall, Bryn Mawr College

more info and registration

The Eastern Shore of Maryland

Wed., March 6, 7:30 pm

Reading/conversation at Salisbury University

Thurs., March 7, 2024, 6pm

Academy Art Museum

106 South St, Easton, MD 21601

Shore Lit Reading Series in conversation with Kerry Folan

Grand Rapids, MI

April 3, 2024, 6pm
Grand Valley State University
Lake Ontario Hall Room 174
GVSU Allendale Campus

Columbia, MO

Monday, April 8th


University of Missouri-Columbia aka “Mizzou”

101 Swallow Hall, MU Campus.

507 S. 9th Street, Columbia MO 65211

2024 Cherng Distinguished Scholar Public Lecture

Registration link:

Northampton, MA

Thursday, October 12 at 7pm
The Boutelle-Day Poetry Center
Wright Hall, Smith College
5 Chapin Way
Northampton, MA 01060
in conversation with Dr. Jina B. Kim
Co-sponsored by the Smith College English Dept, Boutelle-Day Poetry Center, & Dis-Organizing. For disability access information or accommodation requests, please call 413-585-2407. To request a sign language interpreter, call 413-585-2071 (voice of TTY) or email [email protected] at least 10 days before the event.

Austin, TX

Texas Book Fair

Sat., Nov. 11, 1:30p.m., Kirkus Tent

Sun., Nov 12, 12:30p.m., Kirkus Tent

An image of the THE COUNTRY OF THE BLIND: A Memoir at the End of Sight, with a enlarged detail of one of the blind figures from the book's cover and the text Andrew Leland on Tour, followed by seven tour dates, the full text of which follows.


Becket, MA

6:30 p.m. Sat., September 16
The Dream-Away Reading Series
Facebook invite here

Manhattan, NY

October 3, 12:30-1:30pm
The New School
Wollman Hall, 65 West 11th St, 5th floor
Lang Craft Talk
in conversation with Julie Beth Napolin
in person and on Zoom; register here

October 4, 6pm
NYU / Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute
7th Floor Atrium
20 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003
In conversation with Gideon Lewis-Kraus
Free; non-NYU-affiliated folks register here.

South Hadley, MA

July 25 at 7pm
Odyssey Bookshop
9 College Street, South Hadley, MA 01075
In conversation with Andrea Lawlor

Boston, MA

July 27 at 7pm
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
In conversation with Namwali Serpell

Brooklyn, NY

August 2 at 7pm
Books Are Magic [at the new Brooklyn Heights location]
122 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
In conversation with Chloé Cooper Jones

Los Angeles, CA

August 7 at 7pm
695 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101
In conversation with Rachel Khong

San Francisco, CA

August 11 at 7pm
Green Apple Books
1231 9th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122
In conversation with Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Rhinebeck, NY

August 13 at 7pm
Upstate Films
6415 Montgomery Street, Rhinebeck NY 12572
In conversation with Ashley Mayne


The Country of the Blind: a Memoir at the End of Sight, my book about the world of blindness — and finding my place in it — is out now from Penguin Press. It was a finalist for the 2024 Pulitzer Prize in Memoir. You can find links to purchase a copy here. An excerpt was published as “How to Be Blind” as the New Yorker’s “Weekend Essay” feature. I also wrote a guest essay for New York Times Opinion about blindness and A.I. I assembled some highlights (Marc Maron! Terry Gross!) of the book’s press coverage here.

I reviewed Ashley Shew’s Against Technoableism for the New York Times Book Review.

I contributed a reported feature on blindness and dining out for a special section of Eater (guest-edited by Alice Wong) called “Low and Slow: Disabled People on Food.”

A roundtable discussion I moderated with four blind and low-vision artists was the cover story of Art in America magazine’s October 2022 Disability Issue.

“DeafBlind Communities May Be Creating a New Language of Touch,” a web feature I wrote for the New Yorker, won the 2023 Journalism Award from the Linguistic Society of America.

I wrote a feature for the New York Times Magazine about the controversy surrounding a TV show that cast a sighted actress in a blind role, and how it lead me to reconsider the ways in which people — blind, sighted, or, like me, somewhere in between — perform disability, and what blindness is supposed to look like.

I wrote about Joe Frank and experimental public radio for the New York Review Daily.

I wrote an essay, “The ADA-Compliant Elevator of Literature,” about accessibility and writing, for McSweeney’s 64, and an essay about visual art and blindness, “Self-Portrait in an Open Medicine Cabinet,” for Mcsweeney’s 50.

I started an email newsletter that I have never and possibly will never use to send any emails.

I have written other things, mostly criticism and essays, for a variety of other publications. Links to these occasionally appear amid my punishingly banal observations on Twitter.


I interviewed John Lee Clark about his (superb) new poetry collection, How to Communicate, for the New Yorker Radio Hour.

I reported a story about disability and space travel for Radiolab. For the story, I got to fly on the “vomit comet,” a.k.a. a parabolic zero-g airplane, along with a group of aspiring disabled astronauts (with a tiny microphone taped to my forehead).

I was the senior producer on issue 64 of McSweeney’s,
“the Audio Issue” (for which I also wrote an essay, called “The ADA-Compliant Elevator of Literature”). More information on that issue is available here.

I produced an episode of 99 Percent Invisible about blindness and reading called “The Universal Page.”

Between 2013 and 2019, I hosted and produced 107 episodes of the Organist, an arts-and-culture podcast from KCRW and the Believer/McSweeney’s. In the final season, I produced a few episodes that took a more personal turn, which lead me toward writing about disability, which I now do quite a bit. These include episodes about blindness and narrative form, Stevie Wonder truthers, and art and illness.