August 14 , 2008


How Twenty Years of Writing About Booze, Drugs and Sex Ended in the Blink of an Eye


Since the late 1980s, acclaimed novelist and Globe and Mail columnist Russell Smith had been a staple on the Toronto party circuit. Well into his forties, Smith was living like a man half his age, going out pretty much every night of the week, taking in the beautiful women, the latest fashions, the ever changing skyline of the growing city, as well as the glowing martini glasses and recreational drugs on offer to keep the good times rolling. From his first novel, How Insensitive, to his latest, Girl Crazy, chronicling underground life became his job. Then, in 2010, Smith began to lose his eyesight, first his left eye, and then next, cruelly, his right. Blindsided is a moving and brutally honest account of a writer not just dealing with the severe deterioration of a crucial tool—his ability to see—but also the sudden onslaught of some other very adult complications: the death of a father, an unexpected pregnancy, and a partner battling her own crippling demons. (See: Jowita Bydlowska's Drunk Mom: A Memoir, published in April 2013.)

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