[AZW] ✓ What to Look for in Winter: A Memoir in Blindness | by ↠ Candia McWilliam

What to Look for in Winter: A Memoir in Blindness By Candia McWilliam,

  • Title: What to Look for in Winter: A Memoir in Blindness
  • Author: Candia McWilliam
  • ISBN: 9780062094506
  • Page: 312
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The British literary sensation the most startling, discomforting, complicated, ungovernable, hilarious and heart rending of memoirs The Telegraph the story of a celebrated writer s sudden descent into blindness, and of the redemptive journey into the past that her loss of sight sets in motion Candia McWilliam, whose novels A Case of Knives, A Little Stranger, and DebThe British literary sensation the most startling, discomforting, complicated, ungovernable, hilarious and heart rending of memoirs The Telegraph the story of a celebrated writer s sudden descent into blindness, and of the redemptive journey into the past that her loss of sight sets in motion Candia McWilliam, whose novels A Case of Knives, A Little Stranger, and Debatable Land made her a reader favorite throughout the United Kingdom and around the world, here breaks her decade long silence with a searing, intimate memoir that fans of Lorna Sage s Bad Blood, Mary Karr s Lit, and Diana Athill s Somewhere Toward the End will agree cements her status as one of our most important literary writers beyond question Financial Times.
    What to Look for in Winter A Memoir in Blindness The British literary sensation the most startling discomforting complicated ungovernable hilarious and heart rending of memoirs The Telegraph the story of a celebrated writer s sudden descent into

    One thought on “What to Look for in Winter: A Memoir in Blindness”

    1. Candia McWilliam is a supernaturally gifted writer, able to craft prose into unforgettable images and potent insights Her latest book contains breathtaking observations and crippling emotional honesty What a shame, then, that so much of it is a waste of her talent that makes the memoir as a whole such a chore to finish.Since I received my copy of this book as part of the Vine program, I began reading the first page with a feeling of obligation to finish the last before I could write a review For [...]

    2. 2.5 starsPoor Candia questions her own right to take up space of any kind so severely I feel cruel not liking her book much Perhaps the most extraordinary and powerful thing about the text is its expression of vulnerability In part it reads as therapeutic confessional, and it finds very little safety, very little comfort Its crises are unresolved McWilliam offers that she does not know her own mind, and in this I related Hearing her knowing, but being unable to control, her own destructive behav [...]

    3. One of the great books A 53 year old Scottish novelist begins to lose her sight through blepharospasm being unable to open one s eyelids With three children, all with different last names, of two fathers, and a handful of novels her presiding genius is Sybille Bedford she has lived through writing, and reading Now she can only read books on tape, and she dictates this memoir I am six foot tall and afraid of small people.I am a Scot.I am an alcoholic.There is nothing wrong with my eyes.I am blind [...]

    4. Twenty odd years ago, Candia McWilliam was a novelist I always looked out for Then no novels came This memoir provides explanations for the silence In her old, glittering, style clever, dense with allusion, really demanding to be read out loud to be appreciated Candia McWilliam reflects with exhausting subtlety on her states of mind, on the childhood losses rejections , the self distaste, the feeling of not belonging or not deserving things which led her to sabotage what, on the surface, was th [...]

    5. Truly one of the greatest autobiographies that I have read When I worked at Blackwell s in Oxford, one of my favourite customers was Candia Dinshaw, otherwise known as Candia McWilliam , a woman who bought good books, never asked how her books were doing, and often entered the shop with a stunning bouquet of flowers that could not help but light up any young bookseller s life.To say that this book reduced me to tears is an understatement, but it is certainly one in the most heart wrenching stori [...]

    6. Scottish novelist McWilliam wrote fantastic, very dense, inventive novels in the 80s and 90s, then went through a long dry spell A few years ago, she started to go blind, not because her eyes stopped working, but because her eyelids refused to stay open as a result of a rare neurological condition Her response was to hire an assistant and start dictating her memoir Her story is painful alcoholism, self hatred, a family history of suicide but the book never descends into the class of misery memoi [...]

    7. OK, clearly she s a brilliant writer and knows how to use words in magical ways But trying to read this stream of consciousness memoir was like swimming through a very large lake of very thick oatmeal.I ve already donated the book so I can t quote directly, but allow me to give you the flavor My Aunt Zelda was very tall with thin legs She wore thick stockings the color of weak tea Her mother, it was rud, was a trapeze artist I was briefly friends with Zelda s oldest child, Peter Peter enjoyed ha [...]

    8. Can t work out what irks me about this woman s writing, but regrettably I find her unreadable Had to stop after just a few pages.

    9. I suspect that than usual there will be a mixed reaction to this book, and that s the case if you look at the reader reviews But I think this book is extraordinary When I finished it I rang the publisher and asked to write to the author something I ve only done once before Candia McWilliam seemingly had it all a published author, well reviewed, beautiful, highly intelligent, academically successful, married to an Oxford academic, three beautiful children, an internship at Vogue magazine and mod [...]

    10. I can see why folks might hate this one, and bail on it McWilliam is an odd person, who s led a strange life, delivering her story in a somewhat convoluted, pedantic the dictionary on my e reader got quite the workout style Still, I didn t want it to end.The story goes back and forth between the present, dealing with her condition, and the past concerning her childhood and two failed marriages I hadn t realized until late in the book that she and her second husband were still legally married, ev [...]

    11. I spent a long time with this book as McWilliams meanders through her memories of her life while she is confronting increasing blindness caused by a rare disease The depth of her knowledge of literature and language and of both the desire to see and be seen is remarkable Much of her life is spent in Scotland and England and she weaves the tales of her alcoholism, writing, fears of dependence, utter dependence in ways that kept me going through this very long memoir Read it when you have time to [...]

    12. This beautifully written and distinctive memoir begins with a poem by Elizabeth Bishop in which the lines the art of losing isn t hard to master repeat in each stanza It was an apt choice, because McWilliam s story is all about losses first of her mother who kills herself , then of her father first because of his profession, secondly through his remarriage, but most of all through emotional reticence and on and on homes, marriages, her health, her beauty, and finally, her eyesight The subject o [...]

    13. Mc Williams prose is magic Sowing hems with smoke Red tulips with reflexed petals and thin stems like veins I don t have these sleeps these days because I get stuck in my writing but because I get stuck at that point, around two o clock, in my day Three chimneys measured themselves along those wide trees and the long line of the roof offered its shadows along the lawn and the lower reaches of the trees whose individual leaves were still holding sparkling doses of light A writer with a golden pen [...]

    14. What am I not getting here This book is translated into several languages and got rave reviews I slogged through 60 pages hoping the book would grow on me At one point she recalls an incident when she was 4 and a playmate in the sandbox said, Candia has swallowed a dictionary because she used the word avocado I think she still has that dictionary up her arse I delight in having my vocabulary stretched but to come across a word on just about every page that I know will not be found in any diction [...]

    15. This is purely a delicious book I refer, here, to the writing It s like eating something very, very dense and creamy and a bit sweet I sense that I am missing a lot because I keep pushing through that wonderful prose This is a literary book, both in the subject matter and in the writing The story is fascinating, horrifying, bewildering I m not finished with the book yet I suspect I ll have to say Just a note for now.

    16. A stunning book, dense with ideas and meaning, filled with lyrical and provocative prose, nottomention events and characters that seem to belong in a novel, they are so unlikely or far from most readers experience The author s central concerns have to do with place memory, remorse, maternal love, addiction, and the literary vocation A rich, deep and spell binding read.

    17. I wish I had a fraction of the poetry, in me, that I have found in her voice An unflinching and sometimes playful account of her life and its vicissitudes, this Is worth picking up at any page and dipping into just for the poetry of her language I have gone on to others of h books but this was a revelation.

    18. Incredible life story, incredible writing, incredible lady An absolute gem of a book, that will probably stay with me for a long time.

    19. I rarely get this far into a book and then quit, but I m making an exception for this one On the one hand, it is a well written, often funny, exceedingly literate memoir, and I wouldn t blame anyone for actually wanting to read it all the way through On the other hand, the further in I got, the this turned into a very specific kind of British book, where everyone is the precocious child of a terribly famous poet or themselves a fashion model of exceeding beauty who also curates greek sculpture [...]

    20. I was interested to read this for two reasons first, because of all my senses, losing my sight would be I think the worst and second, because she lost her sight thanks to a blethorspasm, which my paternal grandmother suffered from for the last years of her life she was in the clinical trials for Botox, which started out as a medical tool before becoming the means for Real Housewives and starlets to look as stupid and wooden as they act What a surprise to learn that her blindness forms a very min [...]

    21. I won WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WINTER A MEMOIR IN BLINDNESS by Candia McWilliam in a give away on It was a very strange book for me to read but I made it through with long breaks in between sessions of reading Most of my distress came from vocabulary difficulties In the beginning of the book Ms McWilliam says she is bothered by the inference that female writers should stay within lexical limits And that she has heard people say that Candia McWilliam has swallowed the dictionary This may be true, and [...]

    22. This is probably the most depressing book I ve ever read The title, What to Look for in Winter, now seems fitting as I felt like I was trudging through four feet of snow trying to finish this book The author has a condition called blepharospasm, which causes her eyelids to involuntarily close, so she is able to see, but literally cannot keep her eyes open I thought this condition and her perspective would be very interesting to read about, but every page just seemed like an exploration of her se [...]

    23. I found this a very interesting read The author has had many ups and downs in her life, not the least of which was her descent into blindness due to blepharospasm preventing her eyelids from opening doubly tragic for someone who makes their living from writing.The book does not present events in chronological order memories present themselves, and often trigger other thoughts which lead off in another direction, so it does feel a bit disjointed at times perhaps this is partly due to much of the [...]

    24. Candia McWilliam wrote this memoir after she developed an unusual form of blindness called Blepharospasm which basically involves the brain refusing to let the victim s eyelids open, thus rendering her functionally blind For an author and reader this is tatamount to taking away her personal identity.McWilliam, a Scottish national, is apparently well known in the U.K This book is a bit difficult for an American reader because of her assumption that many of the places, people, and other details wo [...]

    25. Golly, this needed editing As it s a writer s autobiography, it s well written, but it jumps about so much it s confusing.It s train of thought stuff, which I can t cope with Ms McWilliam suffers with an eye condition which has caused her many problems, and has had an unusual family life She s known many famous people, so there s much name dropping But I don t need to be told twice that getting cat food on your fingers means you smell fishy for ages

    26. Too dense and, ultimately, too dull Although i liked some of the writing, I couldn t stick around for 200 pages Another example of why novelists should stick to writing novels and forget about writing a memoir I can t think of a single writer s memoir except maybe V Woolf s diaries that I ve truly enjoyed, and a posthumously published diary is not the same as conjuring up your autobiography out of thin self absorbed air.

    27. I won this book as a free giveaway from When I saw this book listed it interested me because it was about a woman who lost her sight, and I almost lost mine before I had a cornea transplant the book was hard for me read because of the small print the first part was rather tedius, dealng with various family and friends It got better as it went on, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading What TO Look for in Winter Thank you for giving me the chance to read it Judie

    28. Chosen by my book group based on rave reviews, I really struggled with its cumbersome language I m happy to say we unanimously agreed too many books, too little time and chose an alternative What a relief I really wanted to like this book about alcoholism, recovery, suffering, redemption.what s not to like Well, however highly praised, just didn t work for me.

    29. As one reviewer writes Candia McWilliam is a supernaturally gifted writer, able to craft prose into unforgettable images and potent insights But other than that the memoir falls flat.I will be taking this one a few pages at a time to savor her writing, and in the mean time check out her other books.

    30. Don t expect an orderly story As the author says herself partway through, the memoir was conceived as scenes depicted, conveying the evolution of this scattered human soul Scattered it clearly is, but the prose is magnificent, and many parts of it thought provoking and powerful It can be a difficult read in spots, though.

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