Traveling Blind: Adventures in Vision with a Guide Dog by My Side

Traveling Blind: Adventures in Vision with a Guide Dog by My Side (Hardback)

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 Traveling Blind: Adventures in Vision with a Guide Dog by My Side
Purdue University Press
6.00" x 9.00"

Book Description

Traveling Blind is a romance, a travel adventure, an emotional quest, and a deeply reflective description of coming to terms with lack of sight. It reveals the invisible work of navigating with a guide dog while learning to perceive the world in new ways. Although an intensely personal account, Traveling Blind is not simply memoir, for it extends beyond one person's experience to illuminate our understandings of vision informed by the academic fields of disability studies, feminist ethnography, and the study of human-animal bonds. What does it mean to "travel blind"? What is it like to live in a world where things are not black and white so much as shades of gray? How does it feel to navigate through constantly changing imagery that requires changing inner perspectives as well? What can experiences of blindness tell us about sight? The book confronts these questions and more. In a series of beautifully textured stories, the author takes the reader on a fascinating journey as she travels with Teela, her lively ""golden dog," through airports, city streets, and southwest desert landscapes, exploring these surroundings with changed sight. This unusual account of travel will inspire the sighted as well as the blind, offering pointed observations on processes of learning to work with a service animal and on coming to terms with a disability. In remarkably visual detail, Krieger makes palpable an ambiguous world. Repeatedly confronted with social stereotypes (that she should be totally blind and incapable of mobility), she comes to value her own unique ways of seeing and her interdependence with both her animal and human companions. Her descriptions of exquisite natural landscapes and intimate personal moments will touch as well as educate readers.


A companion website to this book can be found at:

Book Reviews

Ed Eames and Toni Eames, co-founders of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners

"Knowing her vision is failing on an almost daily basis, Susan Krieger struggles with her need to maintain independence, to deal with societal attitudes about her as a person who does not look blind, and to imprint on her memory the visualization of the holiday luminarias she loves. This highly personal account of the struggle with, and slow acceptance of, her blindness is a must read for those interested in the human condition."


Esther D. Rothblum, Ph.D. Professor of Women's Studies, San Diego State University

"As her dog is a guide for her, Krieger is a guide for the reader to the world of 'traveling blind.' Readers will be fascinated by the insight into service animals, and guide dogs in particular, learning how these specially trained animals actually do their job. You begin to understand the taken for grantedness of the human-animal interaction; in the process, you have been privy to the intricate dance that goes into working with a guide dog. A particularly strong academic contribution of the book is the interior view of the experience of disability. This is a book that will involve and transform the reader, who comes to identify with Krieger's experience and to rethink what it means 'to see,' just as the author must do in her travels."


Library Journal, June 14, 2010

"Stanford professor Krieger (Things No Longer There: A Memoir of Losing Sight and Finding Vision) delineates the metaphorical notion of "vision" and distinguishes it from literal and figurative "blindness." Convincingly, she maintains that blindness generates its own precious insights into self and the larger world. Krieger gradually lost her sight when she was well into adulthood, which enables her to draw valid, perceptive comparisons. Accompanied by her guide dog, she journeys throughout the country exploring the world from a fresh perspective. Like her first book, this is an inspiring account of loss and gain. Readers with an eye for the metaphorical will savor Krieger's journey."

Mary Felstiner, author of Out Of Joint: A Private and Public Story of Arthritis

"As the author takes to the road, we come to understand that to ‘see’ is some combination of perception, memory, and desire. As Krieger explores the commitments between humans and animals, she shows traveling as a challenge for both, but worth it all the time. Traveling Blind is an unforgettable experience, and at the same time a great read."

About the Author(s):

Susan  Krieger

Susan Krieger, a sociologist and writer, teaches in the Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Stanford University. She is the author of six previously published books: Traveling Blind: Adventures in Vision with a Guide Dog by My Side (2010), Things No Longer There: A Memoir of Losing Sight and Finding Vision (2005), The Family Silver: Essays on Relationships among Women (1996), Social Science and the Self: Personal Essays on an Art Form (1991), The Mirror Dance: Identity in a Women’s Community (1983), and Hip Capitalism (1979).