For the Benefit of Those who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind
by Rosemary Mahoney
Little, Brown, and Company, 2014. 287 pgs. Nonfiction
Rosemary Mahoney is a fine writer, usually of travelogues, but in this excellent volume she combines seasons in Tibet and India with an excursion into the world of the blind. Braille Without Borders is a school in Tibet founded to rescue blind children from the abuse and abandonment they often suffer in a society where they are deemed useless. Sabriye Tenberken (herself blind) and her partner Paul Kronenberg (sighted) have brought such a change of status and hopefulness to the blind children of Tibet that one girl expressed gratitude for her blindness because she now had opportunities for education and advancement that the sighted children in her village would never have. As Mahoney moves on to the Braille Without Borders training school in India, she becomes an English teacher as well as a student, and introduces her readers to some remarkable people who are gifted, funny, hard-working, ambitious, and joyful and who simply "see" the world differently.