The culture of disability: A social expose`
Journal of Social Inclusion
1998) 194pp. Planet of the Blind, an autobiographical work and the first of Kuusisto's literary collection, gives a full and frank description of growing up blind in the 1950s and 60s in America, before the advent of disability rights and activism. Kuusisto covers all the topics you would expect in a memoir, however through a lens of disablement that shaped and coloured a significant part of his early adult life. The style of writing is both explanatory and poetic and while the reader is
... he reader is invited on the journey, it is clear that Kuusisto seeks absolution and atonement for past mistakes and transgressions. Themes of empowerment are universally affecting however and it is no less so in Kuusisto's case, as we embrace his potential and hope for the future. Ultimately the search for identity, belonging and acceptance is something that touches us all; across both the humanness of fallibility and experiences of mutual exchange and reciprocity. Therefore, while the memoir has singular reward for Kuusisto, he gifts the message that pretence and fabrication has the potential to erode personal and social conscience.