May Narrative Medicine Rounds with Andrew Leland

"The Country of the Blind," a conversation with Andrew Leland moderated by Allison Coffelt

For our final Rounds event of the school year we are delighted to welcome Andrew Leland, author of the recent book The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight. Named one of the best books of the year by The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, NPR, and others, Leland's memoir is a "witty, winning, and revelatory personal narrative of the author’s transition from sightedness to blindness and his quest to learn about blindness as a rich culture all its own."Andrew Leland’s writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, McSweeney’s Quarterly, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Art in America, among other outlets. From 2013-2019, he hosted and produced The Organist, an arts and culture podcast, for KCRW; he has also produced pieces for Radiolab and 99 Percent Invisible. He has been an editor at The Believer since 2003. He lives in western Massachusetts with his wife and son. 

The Country of the Blind by Andrew Leland Book Cover

Leland will be joined in conversation by Allison Coffelt, recent Narrative Medicine Master's graduate. Allison Coffelt is an author and teacher working at the intersection of health and humanities. Her writing and audio production have been featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association, BMJ Medical Humanities, NPR’s KBIA-FM, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. She is the author of the award-winning book, Maps Are Lines We Draw: A Road Trip through Haiti, a lyric nonfiction exploration of health equity, colonialism, and the complicated relationship between “here” and “there.” Previously, Allison worked in documentary film. She holds a master’s degree in creative nonfiction and an M.S. in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University, where she teaches in the Narrative Medicine certificate program.

Narrative Medicine Rounds are monthly rounds held on the first Wednesday of the month during the academic year, hosted by the Division of Narrative Medicine in the Department of Medical Humanities and Ethics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Rounds are supported by live captioning. If you have any other accessibility needs or concerns, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 212-854-2388 or at least 10 days in advance of the event. We do our best to arrange accommodations received after this deadline but cannot guarantee them. A recording of our Virtual Narrative Medicine rounds is available following the live session on the Narrative Medicine YouTube channel, and you can watch other recent Rounds events there.