Background image of field with golden grasses, hills, and blue sky

Skip navigation

Reviews of Traveling Blind: Adventures in Vision with a Guide Dog by My Side


Photo of bright candlelit luminarias lining both sides of a dark path

"An Unforgettable Experience"

"This is ultimately a book about how we agree to see the world, and what we agree to ignore, wherever we are on the spectrum of sightedness. As the author takes to the road, we come to understand that to ‘see’ is some combination of perception, memory, and desire. As Krieger explores the commitments between humans and animals, she shows traveling as a challenge for both, but worth it all the time. In crystal-clear writing she tells us what to watch out for, what to be surprised by seeing, shows us the unquestioned ability to see should be questioned after all. Traveling Blind is an unforgettable experience, and at the same time a great read.”–Mary Felstiner, Author, Out Of Joint: A Private & Public Story of Arthritis

"A True Love Story"

Photo of Teela standing sideways looking golden

“Traveling Blind is a true love story between a professor, her guide dog Teela, and her life partner Hannah. Susan Krieger writes the book as a feminist ethnographer taking a personal journey into blindness. Knowing her vision is failing on an almost daily basis, the author struggles with her need to maintain independence, deal with societal attitudes about her as a person who does not look blind, and her need to imprint on her memory the visualization of the holiday luminarias she loves. Exploring for, but fighting against, the impending shift in her life blindness will bring, she relies more on tactile cues and begins to appreciate the positive attention Teela brings to her life. Using the phrase ‘broken eyesight,’ she describes how walking with a guide dog, one walks differently; having partial vision, one sees differently. This highly personal account of the struggle with, and slow acceptance of, her blindness is a must read for those interested in the human condition.”–Ed Eames and Toni Eames

The late Ed Eames, Ph.D. and Toni Eames, M.S. are co-founders of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (, a cross disability consumer advocacy organization for people partnered with guide, hearing, and service dogs. Like Dr. Krieger, Dr. Eames lost his vision in adulthood, while Mrs. Eames came to blindness as a young child.

"A Book That Will Transform the Reader"

Photo of Big Hatchet Mountain behind a tall desert yucca

“As her dog is a guide for her, Krieger is a guide for the reader to the world of ‘traveling blind.’ Readers will be fascinated by the insight into service animals, and guide dogs in particular, learning how these specially trained animals actually do their job. You begin to understand the taken for grantedness of the human-animal interaction; in the process, you have been privy to the intricate dance that goes into working with a guide dog. This is a book that will involve and transform the reader, who comes to identify with Krieger's experience and to rethink what it means ‘to see,’ just as the author must do in her travels.”–Esther D. Rothblum, Professor of Women's Studies, San Diego State University

"It’s Beautifully Written and So Clear"

Photo of a bare bush with red and yellow sunrise sky behind it.

“It's beautifully written and so clear, so precise and careful....[Krieger’s] loss of sight seems to have given her heightened powers as an observer, but also a heightened sense of the powerlessness that comes with being observed. It makes sense to me, too, that so much of the book takes place in the desert, since the desert draws so much of its spectacular beauty from its emptiness, its canvas-like quality, and in airports, since those are places where frankly we're all a little lost.”–Louisa Thomas, Writer

"A Sense of Wonder Pervades Her Observations"

Photo of Big Hatchet Mountain in the distance with a road to it in the foreground.

“Susan Krieger faces daily what we all fear. She’s blind.  Or rather, like most blind people, she is not completely sightless, but her vision is ‘impaired or unreliable.’ Traveling Blind (Purdue University Press) is Krieger’s discovery, with companions, of a new world and a new kind of vision as she journeys through cities, airports, and the deserts of the Southwest....A sense of wonder pervades her observations, as she pursues patches of light, the fading glow of a sunset, and random pinpricks of light.” –Cynthia Haven, The Book Haven, Stanford University

"Magical and Valuable"

Photo of a dramatic red sunset with huge crimson clouds above dark mountains

“Susan Krieger's insightful new memoir, Traveling Blind, is a gentle interrogation into the borderlands of sight....A vein of delight in light, shape, color, magnitude, and tone runs through Krieger's narrative. The things she does see, even the mundane or tacky, and the ways in which she sees them, are magical and valuable....Studied in ethnographic process and wise to feminist reinterpretations of what it means to really 'know' something, Krieger examines her ever-changing and complicated interactions with the physical world. The ‘Other’ she encounters is often herself, the person she is becoming as a result of her blindness." –Patty Comeau, ForeWord Reviews

"Readers Will Savor Krieger’s Journey"

Photo of straw-colored desert fields stretching toward a gray-blue sky

"Stanford professor Krieger...delineates the metaphorical notion of ‘vision’ and distinguishes it from literal and figurative ‘blindness.’ Convincingly, she maintains that blindness generates its own precious insights into self and the larger world. Krieger gradually lost her sight when she was well into adulthood, which enables her to draw valid, perceptive comparisons. Accompanied by her guide dog, she journeys throughout the country exploring the world from a fresh perspective....This is an inspiring account of loss and gain. Readers with an eye for the metaphorical will savor Krieger's journey." –L.M., Library Journal

"Sight-seeing while Traveling Blind"

Photo of a golden sunset reflecting on clouds over the Little Hatchet Mountains

“Her imagination; determination; ability to love nature, people and animals; and capacity to find the positive in changes that at times feel like devastating losses all enrich this tale. This is a book full of unique visions, shaped by Krieger's ability to appreciate and articulate how seeing less is sometimes seeing more.  Due to absence of color and detail, Krieger explains, ‘I see images more dramatically, in stark relief,’ at the same time noting ‘the details I do see can make an ordinary world magical.’”

“Krieger's tale is not about a solitary quest, but rather one undertaken with two loved ones at her side, her long-time partner Hannah and her relatively recently acquired guide dog Teela, a large golden lab-retriever mix.  They travel as a pack.  Krieger also intends to go beyond self-understanding to challenge widespread negative stereotypes about blindness, ‘particularly the negative assumption that blindness implies incapacity or lack.’  She succeeds by telling a powerful story of mobility, adventure, and personal growth underwritten by her extraordinary ability to describe for the reader how she sees both sites and sight.” –Susan K. Cahn, Journal of Lesbian Studies

"A Story of Resilience in the Face of Disability"

Photo of a bright red-orange desert sunrise seen through lacy bare branches

"Krieger's account is multifaceted, personal and reflective, yet at the same time descriptive of her surroundings—mountains, deserts and the vast outdoors as well as the geography of her inner world. ...Relying on tactile cues and constantly modifying her perception of the world in line with her deteriorating vision, Krieger hovers between functionality and incapacitation—a nebulous place that society cannot cleanly categorize. Traveling Blind is an eloquent account of her response to this societal treatment, learning to work with a guide dog and ultimately her journey to find new ways of seeing.” –Eleni Stephanides, Curve Magazine, Staff Pick

"Educational for a General Audience"

"Because a major theme of the book is how the public behaved towards her and her dog, this book is educational for a general audience on how to behave in the presence of service dogs of any kind....[Krieger] conveys that a service dog is not a pet, nor a robot that is programmed to work. The symbiosis of handler and dog is an intricate dance, requiring the dog handler to focus on the needs of the dog and her own needs simultaneously.” –Martha Meacham, Story Circle Book Reviews

"How We See and How We Know"

Photo of luminarias glowing atop gate posts on a red clay wall

"Her effortlessly open, generous, and wise. ...Traveling Blind spans three years and two trips to New Mexico, and includes other ambulatory journeys Krieger takes with Teela through airports and the streets of San Francisco.  It records, with honesty and humor, the hazards of being partly-blind and partly-sighted, as well as the frustration she often feels when hounded with the question ‘are you training that dog?’ from passing strangers who don't think she is blind.

“The book also preserves the striking visual imagery of the New Mexican desert landscape that has so long been meaningful to her....Vision as it relates to personal identity has long served as the touchstone of Krieger's sociological work. Using the first-person voice, deeply probing her own experience, and talking about what others might be too embarrassed to talk about [Krieger] sheds incisive light on broader questions of ‘how we see and how we know.’” –Katherine Marino, Gender News, Stanford University

"Going Blind Can Change Your Life"

“I lost my sight two years ago, and I could go on and on about the different ways going blind can change your life, but I probably wouldn’t do it as clearly and concisely as Susan Krieger….She talks about simple things like crossing a street or picking out food at a buffet, simple for sighted folks that is, and more difficult things like navigating an airport and boarding a plane….This audiobook is a good reminder to us that we should never take anything for granted, and that there is life after a devastating loss, if you have the courage to go after it.” —Steven Brandt, Audiobook-Heaven

Lessons for Architectural Design

“This book, Traveling Blind by Susan Krieger, is a must read, not just because of the adventures, but the lessons we as Technologists can learn, planning for blind people, detailing furniture, walkways, steps and just the way security people and officialdom treat blind people.” –Steven Scaysbrook, Konstrukshun, CPD Weblog

More from the Blogs

Photo of Big Hatchet Mountain looming dark purple at sunset

Further reviews and excerpts from Traveling Blind can be found on the websites of Bay Woof (News with Bite for Bay Area Dog Lovers); Love Of Place (Sharman Apt Russell's group blog of writers who celebrate place and a greater relationship and intimacy with the natural world); No Bones About It (The only official blog of Guide Dogs for the Blind); Book News  (Concise coverage of scholarly, reference, & sci-tech-med books); and The Noe Valley Voice (The community newspaper of Noe Valley, San Francisco).

      reviews       excerpts       accessible versions       author       contact