Many of us seek to block out sound, from cell phone chatter to emergency-vehicle sirens. But for Stephen Kuusisto, blind from birth, it is a matter of both survival and aesthetic pleasure to pay close attention to his aural environment. As a child he loved to listen to Caruso records and to distinguish the various songbirds in the New Hampshire woods near where he grew up. And as an adult, he goes “sightseeing” to cities all over the world and even attends major league baseball games. Once when he gave a talk about his travels, a woman in the audience asked, “Why travel anywhere if you can’t see?” This book, gracefully written, is proof that Kuusisto indeed “sees”—and sees more than most sighted folk. “I am the blind traveler who listens not merely for utility but for sustenance,” he says. He also has a sense of humor.


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