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Do You Dream in Color?: Insights from a Girl Without Sight Paperback – October 23, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Laurie Rubin shows that we need not be defined by what others may see as our limitations. With her remarkable approach to life and her extraordinary musical achievements, she is an inspiring example to all who are finding their way."
—Katherine Damkohler, Executive Director, Education Through Music

"I’ve never met Laurie Rubin, but her voice and spirit leap off the page of her riveting memoir. Despite all the obstacles and prejudice Rubin faced growing up blind, reading Do You Dream in Color? left me feeling that she’s had a charmed life. . .Art, love, family, and connectedness are the high notes Rubin hits again and again in this unusually inspiring life story.”
—Elizabeth Benedict, author of Almost and The Practice of Deceit

"Do You Dream in Color? shows the same clarity, honesty, and devotion that Laurie has always had with her art. A wonderful book."
—Frederica von Stade, mezzo-soprano

“Her book is riveting and readers will find themselves cheering for her victories and feeling her pain when peers and instructors dismiss her or treat her as if she is invisible or 'less-than' her sighted contemporaries.”
 —Jewish Book Council

About the Author

Blind since birth, mezzo-soprano LAURIE RUBIN has been praised by New York Times chief classical music critic Anthony Tommasini for her "compelling artistry," "communicative power," and for a voice that possesses "earthy, rich and poignant qualities." Recent career highlights include her United Kingdom solo recital debut performance at Wigmore Hall in London and a solo recital at Carnegie Hall. Rubin’s numerous roles have included the part of Karen in The Rat Land by Gordon Beeferman with New York City Opera, Penelope in Monteverdi's The Return of Ulysses, and the title role in Rossini's La Cenerentola. She has recorded an album, Faith in Spring, with the renowned collaborative pianists Graham Johnson and David Wilkinson on the Opera Omnia label. Rubin is also the co-founder and associate artistic director of Ohana Arts, a performing arts school and festival in Hawaii, where she lives.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Triangle Square (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609804244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609804244
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,109,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alan A. Elsner VINE VOICE on November 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
Laurie Rubin's memoir of how she overcame her blindness to carve out a career as an operatic singer is a testament to an unquenchable spirit.

Born to intelligent, affluent and loving parents in California, Laurie was fortunate to have had all the advantages that such an upbringing would suggest. Except for one thing - Laurie was born blind, unable to see anything except white light. But Laurie, as every page of her entrancing memoir testifies, was also born with an unstoppable optimism - a can-do attitude that refuses to give up on any aspect of life's riches. Backed up by her family, she learned to ski, she has a bat mitzvah and discovers a wonderful singing voice coupled with a rare musical talent.

Every page of this book is infused by Laurie's unstoppable drive to live life to its fullest. The words "I can't" are simply not in her vocabulary. Instead, she asks, "how can I?" -- and then she goes ahead and does whatever it is.

Laurie attends Oberlin College and Yale University; she also discovers she is a lesbian and plunges into that aspect of her life with the same gusto with which she attacks everything else. (Her reticence about one long-term relationship is a blind spot in the book. I understand that Laurie wants to preserve aspects of he privacy but I definitely had questions about what happened to the relationship and how and why it ended. If you want to write a memoir, you kind of give up your right to total privacy).

Laurie even manages to star in a production of Rossini's opera "La Cenerentola" navigating around the stage by counting steps. Sure, she suffers slights and setbacks - but her success as a blind singer also inspires people to give her a chance.
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Laurie Rubin has written her autobiography -- growing up blind, a talented opera singer from a young age. She speaks candidly about the challenges she faced at every turn, revealing, without bitterness, the ignorance of her classmates, teachers, school administrators, professors...and more, towards the blind. A graduate student in Opera at Yale, the Opera Director couldn't figure out a way to cast Laurie in a full-length opera -- it could have done so easily...if there had been the will to do it!!! Laurie informs, entertains and educates in this, her first book. I highly recommend it!
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How interesting can a book be written by someone just really getting into her career? She's an opera singer, for heaven's sake!!

I actually know Ms. Rubin (I'm mentioned in the book) and I have always respected her greatly. Reading this raises my understanding and appreciation of her to a totally new plain.

Her ability to capture vignettes of life vividly gives anyone a lesson in writing. Her ability to be candid - alternately self-deprecating and boldly assertive - makes this book a delightfuly read.

If you think reading about the life and adventures of someone without sight is sure to be boring, I can only say that this book certainly is not. Whether describing the thrill of skiing down a hill or the clashing emotions of the first kiss, Laurie Rubin tells her story with clarity and humor, yet always moving us with the challenges she meets and conquers.

It is a story worthy of the subtitle of her favorite opera: Virtue Triumphant.
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Laurie may not have sight but she is living a very insightful life. Her book has humor, great description and is very inspiring. She is a great talent in innumerable ways. I just sent her book to a 10 year old, a 36 year old and a 70 year old person for their birthdays. All of the recipients loved Laurie and her entertaining book. I recommend this wonderful story for all ages of readers..
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This book is a must read if you are interested in any of the above facets of Laurie Rubin's personality. She was born blind, but was lucky enough to be raised in a family that believed she could accomplish anything she wanted to. So she has undertaken adventures throughout her life that might surprise anyone who doesn't know what blind people CAN do. She is very upfront about her blindness, her homosexuality, and her Jewishness, all of which is totally refreshing. You feel as though, if you were to meet her, you could ask her anything, and she would give you an honest answer. I was lucky enough to hear an interview with her by Terry Gross, on NPR, and to hear some samples of her singing -- she has an exquisite, glorious voice, and is musically sensitive enough to be able to accurately and beautifully express many different styles of music, from opera to Renaissance music, to modern music. Having read this book, I am excited to be able to follow her musical career, and I expect great things from her!
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After enjoying an evening with Ms. Rubin in Palm Springs, I was interested in hearing more of her story. Her live performance held at Palm Springs high school was filled not only with her beautiful voice, but anecdotal stories of her life. I found in Laurie's book the same joy, and the same emotions which moved me to laughter and to tears that evening in Palm Springs.
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