Author of CockeyedBook Speaker
Ryan Knighton's first book, Cockeyed, is a hilarious and observant memoir that The Boston Globe called "an unexpectedly wry view of a life that twisted into the extraordinary." His second book, C'mon Papa, is a heartbreaking and hilarious voyage through the first year of fatherhood. He is also a faculty member at Capilano College, where he teaches writing (both creative and destructive).
Knighton is currently working with director Miguel Arteta (Cedar Rapids), on a bigscreen adaptation of Troy Cook's comic crime novel, 47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers.
Out of Sight: The Hilarious, Madcap and Uplifting Story of Ryan Knighton
In his speeches, Ryan Knighton annihilates the stereotype of the "disabled motivational speaker." A creative writing teacher, Knighton possesses a gift for storytelling and clarity of communication that makes his speeches entertaining and -- yes -- uplifting. He shares the story of his irreversible descent into blindness, showing us the seeming frailty and unpredictability of the human condition, while at the same time offering a message of hope and courage. It's a first-hand account of the extraordinary power of curiosity and humor in surviving and succeeding, and in traveling beyond our own expectations.
Cockeyed: A Memoir
An irreverent, tragicomic, astoundingly articulate memoir about going blind—and growing up
On his eighteenth birthday, Ryan Knighton was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a congenital, progressive disease marked by night-blindness, tunnel vision, and, eventually, total blindness. In this penetrating, nervy memoir, which ricochets between meditation and black comedy, Knighton tells the story of his fifteen-year descent into blindness while incidentally revealing the world of the sighted in all its phenomenal peculiarity.
Stumbling literally and emotionally into darkness, into love, and into adulthood, he uses his disability to provide a window into the human condition. His experience of blindness offers unexpected perspectives on sight and the other senses, culture, identity, language, and our fears and fantasies.
Cockeyed is not a conventional confessional. Knighton is powerful and irreverent in words and thought, and impatient with the preciousness we’ve come to expect from books on disability. Readers will find it hard to put down this wild ride around their everyday world with a wicked, smart, blind guide at the wheel.
Ryan Knighton's humorous and perceptive tales of fatherhood take us inside an unusual new family, one bound by its father's particular darkness and light.
C'mon Papa is Ryan Knighton's heartbreaking and hilarious voyage through the first year of fatherhood. Becoming a father is a stressful, daunting rite of passage to be sure, but for a blind father, the fears are unimaginably heightened. Ryan will have to find novel ways to adapt to nearly every aspect of parenting: the most basic skills are nearly impossible to contemplate, let alone master. And how will Ryan get to know this pre-verbal bundle of coos and burps when he can't see her smile, or look into her eyes for hints of the person to come?
But this is no pity party, and Ryan has no time for sentimentality. Tackling these hurdles with grace and humour, Ryan is determined to do his part - and this is where the fun starts. From holding his daughter as she wails into the night to their first nerve-wracking walk to the cafe, no activity between father and daughter is without its pitfalls. In his struggle to "see" Tess, Ryan reimagines the relationship between father and child during that first chaotic year.
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