Kathryn’s Pick: Blindness by José Saramago

“If I’m sincere today, what does it matter if I regret it tomorrow?” – José Saramago, Blindness


On a day just like any other an unexplained plague of “white blindness” sweeps across the country and leaves a scrambling government struggling to contain the outbreak. A large portion of the population is suddenly without vision and it seems the structure of society went right along with it. Chaos fills the streets and a world of hopelessness and violence erupts between the clashing sides of “newly blinded” and “the seeing”.

It’s no secret that I am an avid fan of dystopian science-fiction. Blindness is so much more than a book about the disintegration of society through a plague. The unique “sickness” of blindness is something that I have never seen before. It brings to light a reality that actually exists for the 253 million people living with vision impairment in today’s world. It caused me to look a little deeper and truly observe with the privilege of sight that I have. It’s one thing to read a wonderful work of fiction, but it’s another to read this work and take a real life lesson with you. The plot alone in this book was enough to leave me speechless but everything else has brought this book up into my favorites.
I picked up my copy of Blindness a few years ago at a book sale. I sorely regret not reading it sooner, but I am so glad that I have a copy in my personal collection.