Willoughby Hills
Willoughby Hills with Heath Racela
115. Author Andrew Leland Explores Blindness

115. Author Andrew Leland Explores Blindness


No transcript...

Welcome to another episode of the Willoughby Hills podcast!

Andrew Leland (Photo by Gregory Halpern)

My guest today is Andrew Leland, a writer, journalist, audio producer, and podcast host.

As a teenager, Andrew began to notice trouble seeing at night. After consulting with an eye doctor, he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a disease where eyesight degenerates steadily over many years, ultimately resulting in blindness. Andrew is now legally blind, although he still has about 5% of his vision remaining.

His new book The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight is a thoughtful and deep exploration of blindness, looking at both the personal and the societal implications of what it means to be without vision. In the book, Andrew visits a blind convention in Florida, a training facility in Colorado which includes kitchen facilities and a wood shop, and studies the disability justice movements.

Andrew and I had a fascinating conversation about his journey as an author, his relationship to assistive technologies like braille and screenreaders, how blindness changed his views on media, and the role of intersectionality in any struggle for justice.

For six years, Andrew produced and hosted the podcast The Organist for KCRW. His work has also appeared in New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, McSweeney’s, and Radiolab.

If you’re looking for a good read over the holiday break, please check out Andrew’s book.

If you enjoy this interview, you may also like my twice-weekly email newsletter about our changing relationship to home, work, building, shopping, eating, and more. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox, plus get notified when new podcast episodes are posted:

Related Episodes:

Listening Tip:

You can stream this episode on the go using the Substack app.

Read Willoughby Hills in the Substack app
Available for iOS and Android

You can also click “Listen On” in the player at the top of this post to load this episode on your favorite podcast app, or search “Willoughby Hills” in your favorite podcast app too.

Willoughby Hills
Willoughby Hills with Heath Racela
Quarantine Creatives is now Willoughby Hills. Join TV producer/director Heath Racela as he chats with interesting guests with unique perspectives on our ever evolving relationships to work, home, community, culture, food, the environment, and more.