LIGHTS OUT by Baynard Kendrick


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Where Arthur Miller's Focus (see P. 345) showed how the accident of changed external appearance brought about realization of minority abuses, this -- in interesting parallel -- deals with actual blindness and the resultant intensified awareness of the part sight plays in prejudice. A boy from Florida is wounded in TO and sent back to Valley Forge hospital for primary rehabilitation of the blind. His dazed grasp of his condition, his inner refusal to accept his sightlessness, his urge to surpass as he learns his special abilities form a contrast to his mental change toward Negro, Jew, toward family and fiancee -- a slower process than his physical convalescence. A trip home emphasizes his transition while graduate work at Avon Old Farms, Connecticut, proves his advance in the world of darkness, where barriers fall as prejudice and early conditioning are shown as false, and he learns that blackness of mind is worse than physical blindness. A new love is entangled in his sightlessness, but, through the honesty and courage of the girl, it gives him a start in his return to a normal world... The author of the mysteries featuring the blind detective and the Seeing Eye dogs, here capably handles the factual and technical aspects of this phase of rehabilitation as practised by our government, and fabricates a plausible novel on the basis of the facts.

Pub Date: Nov. 7th, 1945
Publisher: Morrow