The Beauty of Dusk is Frank Bruni’s wise and moving memoir about aging, affliction, and optimism after partially losing his eyesight.
One morning in late 2017, Bruni woke up with strangely blurred vision. He wondered at first if some goo or gunk had worked its way into his right eye. But this was no fleeting annoyance, no fixable inconvenience. Overnight, a rare stroke had cut off blood to one of his optic nerves, rendering him functionally blind in that eye—forever. He soon learned from doctors that the same disorder could ravage his left eye, too. He could lose his sight altogether.
In The Beauty of Dusk, Bruni hauntingly recounts his adjustment to this daunting reality, a medical and spiritual odyssey that involved not only reappraising his own priorities but also reaching out to, and gathering wisdom from, longtime friends and new acquaintances who had navigated their own traumas and afflictions.
The result is a poignant, probing, and ultimately uplifting examination of the limits that all of us inevitably encounter, the lenses through which we choose to evaluate them, and the tools we have for perseverance. Bruni’s world blurred in one sense, as he experienced his first real inklings that the day isn’t forever and that light inexorably fades, but it also sharpened in another sense. Confronting unexpected hardship, he felt more blessed than ever before. There was vision lost. There was also vision found.
Frank Bruni has been a prominent journalist for more than three decades, including more than 25 years at The New York Times, the last ten of them as a nationally renowned op-ed columnist who appeared frequently as a television commentator. He was also a White House correspondent for the Times, its Rome bureau chief, and, for five years, its chief restaurant critic. He is the author of three New York Times best sellers. In July 2021, he became a full professor at Duke University, teaching media-oriented classes in the Sanford School of Public Policy. He continues to write his popular weekly newsletter for the Times and to produce occasional essays as one of the newspaper’s official Contributing Opinion Writers.
Katy Tur is the anchor of MSNBC’s Katy Tur Reports and the author of the New York Times best seller, Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History. Tur is the recipient of a 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. She lives in New York City with her family. Rough Draft is her second book.
Wendy Supron, Chair
Caroline Kincaid Godfrey
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Wendy Supron, Chair