Virtual Event: M. Leona Godin

presenting

There Plant Eyes:
A Personal and Cultural History of Blindness

in conversation with ANDREW LELAND

Date

Jun
2
Wednesday
June 2, 2021
7:00 PM ET

Location

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.

Tickets

Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes award-winning writer, performer, and educator M. LEONA GODIN for a discussion of her latest, highly anticipated book, There Plant Eyes: A Personal and Cultural History of Blindness. She will be joined in conversation by ANDREW LELAND, editor of the Believer and host and producer of KCRW's The Organist.

Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store

While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of There Plant Eyes on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.

Click here to join!

About There Plant Eyes

From Homer to Helen Keller, from Dune to Stevie Wonder, from the invention of braille to the science of echolocation, M. Leona Godin explores the fascinating history of blindness, interweaving it with her own story of gradually losing her sight.

There Plant Eyes probes the ways in which blindness has shaped our ocularcentric culture, challenging deeply ingrained ideas about what it means to be “blind.” For millennia, blindness has been used to signify such things as thoughtlessness (“blind faith”), irrationality (“blind rage”), and unconsciousness (“blind evolution”). But at the same time, blind people have been othered as the recipients of special powers as compensation for lost sight (from the poetic gifts of John Milton to the heightened senses of the comic book hero Daredevil).

Godin—who began losing her vision at age ten—illuminates the often-surprising history of both the condition of blindness and the myths and ideas that have grown up around it over the course of generations. She combines an analysis of blindness in art and culture (from King Lear to Star Wars) with a study of the science of blindness and key developments in accessibility (the white cane, embossed printing, digital technology) to paint a vivid personal and cultural history.

A genre-defying work, There Plant Eyes reveals just how essential blindness and vision are to humanity’s understanding of itself and the world.

Praise for There Plant Eyes

There Plant Eyes is so graceful, so wise, so effortlessly erudite, I learned something new and took pleasure in every page. All hail its originality, its humanity, and its ‘philosophical obsession with diversity in all its complicated and messy glory.’” —Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts

“Godin guides readers through the surprising twists and turns in Western blind history, from ancient seers to contemporary scientists. The lively writing style and memorable personal anecdotes are delightful. This book is a gift to both blind and sighted readers.” —Haben Girma, human rights lawyer and author of the bestselling Haben: The Deaf blind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law

“This sighted disabled person learned so much from There Plant Eyes! The book took me on a cultural journey that showed how blindness is beautiful, complex, and brilliant.” —Alice Wong, editor of Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century

Andrew Leland
Andrew Leland

Andrew Leland

Andrew Leland’s book about the strangeness, difficulty, and occasional joy of going blind very slowly is forthcoming from Penguin Press. He was senior producer on McSweeney’s 64, the Audio Issue, which will be out this August.

M. Leona Godin
M. Leona Godin

M. Leona Godin

M. Leona Godin is a writer, performer, and educator who is blind. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Playboy, O, The Oprah Magazine, and Catapult, where she writes the column “A Blind Writer’s Notebook.” She was a 2019 Logan Nonfiction Fellow and has written and produced two theatrical productions: The Star of Happiness, based on Helen Keller’s time performing in vaudeville, and The Spectator and the Blind Man, about the invention of braille. She founded the online magazine Aromatica Poetica as a forum for exploring the arts and sciences of smell and taste, not specifically for, but welcoming to, blind readers and writers.

 

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
access@harvard.com

New This Week

Shop this week's new arrivals, updated every Tuesday.

Learn More »

Shipping & Curbside Pickup

We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $75+ ship free via media mail!

Learn More »

Classic Totes

Tote bags and pouches
in a variety of styles,
sizes, and designs
, plus mugs, bookmarks, and more!

Learn More »