Friends and family. Restaurants and recipes. Hobbies and history. TV programs the author loved when he could still see and music he enjoys. The schools he attended and the two degrees he attained. The career that eluded him and the physical problems that challenge him. And books, books, books: over 200 of them quoted from or reviewed. All in all, an astonishing work of erudition and remembrance.
Across Two Novembers was edited by Leonore H. Dvorkin.
Cover design by David Dvorkin.
It may seem that I have mentioned books inordinately frequently. Please remember that I take in little television and few movies, and that I don't work at present. It is this amount of found time that I can dedicate to the printed—or in my case the spoken—word. These books are like signposts that help me navigate my way through the hours of each day. I simply wanted to craft a love letter, a valentine, to books, and to tell you a bit about me and my world. I suspect that I wrote this journal to make sense of my life, asking what would happen next. Would I leave anything as a legacy when I'm gone?
To read the book's bibliography in PDF format, please click here.
To read the book's webliography in PDF format, please click here.
David L. Faucheux is a lifelong resident of Louisiana and currently lives in Lafayette. He attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where he obtained a BA in English and later a Master of Library and Information Science. He has worked as a braille instructor and medical transcriptionist. With the encouragement of a friend, he began an audioblog, which he maintained for several years. He continues as a reviewer of audiobooks for Library Journal. His hobbies include dining out, listening to music, and learning new trivia.
In February 2017, Breanna Molloy did a human-interest story about David on KATC, an ABC affiliate station in Denham Springs, Louisiana. To watch the story, click here.
On July 16, 2017, David was interviewed on Jim Brown's Common Sense radio program. To listen to the interview, click here. The interview begins about three-fourths of the way through, at the 41 minutes and 30 seconds mark.
From the very beginning of Faucheux's book, with its touching dedication to the author's guide dog, Nader, who once "helped chase away some of life's aloneness," to the very end of this one-year journal, readers will find their emotions stretched and eyes opened to what life is like for a person without sight. Superbly written, Faucheux's account details the daily ups and downs he faces as a blind man with honesty, insight—and oftentimes, a delightful dose of humor.
I felt his frustration waiting for the Paratransit van to arrive, understood his fear of being stranded, and empathized with the instances where he found himself alone or disoriented. All is not grim, however—not by a long shot. Faucheux loves getting together with his family and friends, enjoys lectures like the ones on Henry VIII at the library, and is always game to try a new hobby or craft that can occupy his hands while listening to a book or podcast.
Throughout his journal, Faucheux also delights readers with a stream of trivia and colorful commentary on his favorite meals, often those from a popular local Thai restaurant, or the Cajun dishes, like cracker custard and pralines, made by his grandmother, or those cooked by a blind neighbor, including her cabbage casserole and corn maque choux, which Faucheux instructs is pronounced "mock shoe."
Despite enormous challenges, Faucheux has conquered technology on many fronts, and his many book reviews, included in the book, are full of brightly written and insightful comments. The quotes he sprinkles throughout his journal are stellar, including this one from Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives, by Dan Millman: "The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Thank you, David Faucheux, for your spirit and tenacity, your lovely writing, and this inspiring journal.
Priscilla Cummings, author of 23 children's books, including the young adult novels Blindsided, A Face First, and the Red Kayak series.
I love reading memoirs and journals because through them I get to enter the worlds of interesting people. David Faucheux's Across Two Novembers is no exception. He calls himself a blind bibliophile, to which I'd add foodie and local lore aficionado. Because of his disabilities, his life might seem circumscribed to some. He has chosen to go deep, read widely, and bloom where he's planted. If I had to pick an interesting conversationalist to be stranded on a desert island with, I'd pick David because of his breadth of knowledge. But just skip the desert island and settle in to read Across Two Novembers.
Katherine Schneider, Ph.D., author of Occupying Aging: Delights, Disabilities, and Daily Life (2013)
Across Two Novembers takes the reader on an incredible journey, exploring the superhighways of such topics as education of the blind and politics, and along the pathways of such things as friendships and good food. The author discusses his blindness with candor and a lack of self-pity. He presents his daily life with its triumphs and frustrations, liberally mixed with his observations of things going on in the world beyond the one in which he lives.
Each chapter can be read and enjoyed on its own, thus relieving the boredom that often creeps in when one undertakes to read a lengthy work of nonfiction. It is the kind of book that can be placed on the bedside table to be picked up, digested by sections, and put down again, leaving the reader satisfied, knowing that next time, he or she will find something different on the next day of the author's life.
This is a book well worth reading and giving as a gift to the book lovers in your life. Do we dare hope we'll see more from this author?
Phyllis Staton-Campbell, author of Who Will Hear Them Cry (2012) and Where Sheep May Safely Graze (forthcoming, late 2017)
This book is proof that the most mundane events are not boring when they are filtered through an engaging mind and told by an expert storyteller. David Faucheux has an encyclopedic knowledge of the world, and his intellect shines through each sentence. His storytelling gets across that even waiting for buses, cabs, and transit services can turn into potentially earth-shattering events for a blind person. I highly recommend Across Two Novembers to anyone who wants to understand how intellect and determination, and a good sense of humor, can overcome anything.
Anthony J. Fonseca, Ph.D., author of Proactive Marketing for the New and Experienced Library Director: Going Beyond the Gate Count and Hooked on Horror: A Guide to Reading Interests in Horror Fiction
David Faucheux's book has already garnered praise from the disability community; one only needs to direct a browser to his Web page, and an impressive collection of reviews is there for the reading. It is, therefore, this reviewer's intention to state that he is a writer first and foremost; his blindness is part of his overall identity and influences the prose, but it surely does not define who he is and how much he has accomplished thus far.
The style is refreshing; the narrative is compelling. Reading about how other blind writers who are word lovers overcome the print barrier is a testament to our adaptability. If you read this book for no other reason than to find out how we embrace literature without the benefit of sight, you won't be disappointed.
Ann Chiappetta, M.S.
Author of Upwelling: Poetry (2016)
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Year In A Remarkable Life
David Faucheux lost his sight as a teen, but as this memoir of a year in his life makes clear he lost none of his intellectual prowess or powers of observation. Now in his forties, he has earned two degrees and leads an independent life in Louisiana with a wide circle of family and friends.
Across Two Novembers runs from late 2013 to late 2014. Faucheux writes about his daily life, a busy mix of cooking and other hobbies, visiting friends and relatives, communicating with a wide range of acquaintances through his computer, and above all, reading. Faucheux enjoys a wide range of reading (using both braille and recorded books) and discusses them in an informal, conversational style which is very appealing. I've already read many of the books he mentions, and have made notes of a number of others that I intend to seek out now that he's told me about them.
Those who read Across Two Novembers may pick it up out of curiosity sparked by its subtitle: A Year in the Life of a Blind Bibliophile. As they read they'll find their curiosity will give way to liking and respect for a man who contributes much to our world.
John D. Cofield
Amazon Top 500 reviewer