"The most startling, discomforting, complicated, ungovernable, hilarious, and heartrending of memoirs" (The Telegraph, london)—the story of a celebrated writer's sudden descent into blindness, and the redemptive journey into the past that her loss of sight sets in motion
In 2006 the acclaimed novelist Candia McWilliam began losing her sight, a gradual onset of blindness that seemed like an assault cruelly tailored for someone whose life consisted of reading and writing. Propelled to look inward and into the past, McWilliam embarked on a painful personal voyage through a waste of snows punctuated by shards of ice as she attempted to write her life back. What followed was a flow of memory: her childhood in Edinburgh, her devastating alcoholism, finding and losing her bearings in Cambridge and London, her marriages, her children, and, overshadowing it all, her mother's suicide.
A personal story of love and loss, addiction and reclamation, her piercing memoir is also a celebration of friendship, reading, children, and the consolations of landscape. In What to Look for in Winter, McWilliam riffles through her many incarnations to find her true self and discover how she may come to see once more.
I was really excited to get this book; I too am losing my vision.
As if this wasn't sufficient, the author reflects upon and endless stream of itsy, bitsy, tedious details which seem to go nowhere and have little point.
Hopefully, other readers, perhaps with a deeper understanding of the literary nuances, will see in this book what I did not.
Ugh, this book took forever to get through. It sounds like it should be fascinating. McWilliam suffers from a rare condition that produces functional blindness-- her eyes can see... Read morePublished 18 months ago by LH422
Hidden amongst the metaphor- heavy prose, the endless subordinate clauses and the admittedly beautiful writing is the intriguing story of Candia McWilliams. Read morePublished on March 5, 2013 by Sela Still
I clung to M's words as if she was a guide dog and I was the one with the white stick. This was a welcomed challenging read ,not a movie with an intent to entertain. Read morePublished on January 29, 2013 by Patrick L. Grady
Like others reviewing this book here, I ordered it hoping to find some uplifting thoughts/expressions/help for dealing with my own growing disabilities...something encouraging. Read morePublished on December 20, 2012 by Gregory E. Foster
Candia McWilliam expresses it well: "It is in a memoir that truth will, if not lie, tell as many versions of itself as there are drops of water in a river. Read morePublished on December 15, 2012 by Benjamin A. Simpson
I liked this book a lot. It was heartwrenching and inspiring at the same time. You never pity the author all the while having great compassion for their struggle.Published on July 19, 2012 by Mrs. Krinklebine
What to Look for in Winter:A Memoir in Blindness is a little over my head as far as books are concerned. I am sure it is a wonderful work of literature. Read morePublished on May 23, 2012 by Elaine Littau
I really tried to like this book. The writing style was sophisticated, and the descriptives were eloquent.
Autobiography can be very tricky. Read more
This book is a very tough read. It's worse at the beginning, but only improves a little as you continue on. Candia McWilliams at the start comes off as a very self-absorbed woman. Read morePublished on May 6, 2012 by atmj