Occasionally I come across new books that don't fit within So19's time period but are too excellent not to share. The new memoir from novelist, short story writer and editor James Tate Hill is one of them. Like all great memoirs, Hill's beautifully written Blind Man's Bluff gives us not only a glimpse of the writer's life but also a fresh perspective on the world. Its story begins when, at sixteen, Hill loses virtually all of his vision to a rare disease called Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy. While his parents unsuccessfully attempt to find a cure, Hill himself concentrates on hiding his condition from his peers. The constant deceptions this involves give others the impression that his "bad eyes" are a minor problem and allow Hill to avoid feeling that he is burdening others. Yet they are also endlessly exhausting, occasionally dangerous (as for example when he crosses busy streets without a guide or a cane), and ultimately unsustainable. As he moves through college and graduate school, teaching and writing projects, friendships and marriage, it becomes increasingly clear that the strategies he devised to help him fit in socially actually isolate him as much or more than his blindness. Rich with telling details and moments, Hill's memoir reminds the sighted among us just how much we take for granted—how much our movement through both the physical and social world depends on visual cues and how hard it is to navigate without them. Just as powerfully, BLIND MAN'S BLUFF explores questions that affect all of us, sighted or not. What does it mean to be "normal," and when does the cost of seeming to be like everyone else rise too high? Is the willingness to ask for help a burden or a gift? Above all, perhaps, what happens to our relationships when we don't let others see us fully? James Tate Hill is a wry, skillful and soulful guide to these and other mysteries at the heart of human life; in BLIND MAN'S BLUFF, he allows us to see not only himself but also ourselves with new clarity.