By S. Mara Faulkner, OSB
“When I began writing Going Blind, the story of my father’s blindness, memoir seemed to be the natural and inevitable form the story would take. For several years, when people asked me what I was writing, I said, “A memoir about the secret of my dad’s blindness.” Memoirs are about secrets. Unlike biography or autobiography, memoir is about moments rather than the complete story of a life, birth to death. My memory of my dad’s life and my knowledge and understanding of blindness are filled with blind spots, blind alleys, blind pigs, blind hedges, blind curves–treacherous, all treacherous. Unlike biography or autobiography, which attempts to tell the whole story of a life, or at least a long chapter, memoir thrives on such incompleteness…”
S. Mara Faulkner is an associate professor of English at the College of Saint Benedict (CSB), and teaches students from both CSB and Saint John’s University. She is also a vowed member of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict. She presented on her memoir Going Blind: A Memoir to several Collegeville Institute’s writing workshops.