From Publishers Weekly
Blinded in a senseless attack in his New York home in 1978, de Montalembert, then a filmmaker and painter, was violently forced out of his intensely visual world. In this raw memoir, more a brainstorming session than a narrative, he approaches his new life with stunning directness, navigating the environs of Manhattan and, not much later, Bali and Greenland, with precocious new confidence and ability. He's also painfully honest about the affects of his blindness, refusing the comfort of standard tropes about spirituality but finding wonder in the kindness of absolute strangers, isolation from those closest to him, and other un-thought-of moments of triumph and despair stemming from the way his condition affects his closest relationships. A French-born artist, de Montalembert will draw inevitable comparisons to Jean-Dominique Bauby (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), and de Montalembert's effort is certainly a more challenging read, stylistically: broken, brief, at times like a prose poem. It depends on the reader whether this approach makes for a cumulative impact, or just gets tiring. Still, de Montalembert vital, determined voice is worth attending.
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"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 of March
and winner of the Pulitzer Prize
"Hugues de Montalembert writes beautifully. 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." -- Kate Braestrup, bestselling author of Here If You Need Me