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Eyes to the Wind

A Memoir of Love and Death, Hope and Resistance

By Ady Barkan & Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Narrated by Bradley Whitford / 9 hours 44 minutes
Bookseller Recommendation

Eyes to the Wind

“Ady Barkan is still alive. And kicking… metaphorically. He has late stage ALS and he’s not going down without a fight. (A common thread to end-of-life memoirs.) But here’s the deal… Ady is not fighting for his life, he’s fighting for ours. Ady is using his last (ventilator assisted) breath to fight for human rights. That’s you. That’s me. And to Ady, human rights mean dignity, equity, decency, kindness, and doing what is right. Ady is looking death straight in the eyes and he’s using this book to make his life’s work count. Not him. His work. I am humbled beyond belief.”

Watermark Books image Robin, Watermark Books

In this inspirational and moving memoir—reminiscent of When Breath Becomes Air and The Bright Hour—activist Ady Barkan explores his life with ALS and how his diagnosis gave him a profound new understanding of his commitment to social justice for all.

Ady Barkan loved taking afternoon runs on the California coast and holding his newborn son, Carl. But one day, he noticed a troubling weakness in his hand. At first, he brushed it off as carpal tunnel syndrome, but after a week of neurological exams and two MRIs, he learned the cause of the problem: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. At age 32, Ady was given just three to four years to live. Yet despite the devastating diagnosis, he refused to let his remaining days go to waste.

Eyes to the Wind is a rousing memoir featuring intertwining storylines about determination, perseverance, and how to live a life filled with purpose and intention. The first traces Ady’s battle with ALS: how he turned the initial shock and panic from his diagnosis into a renewed commitment to social justice—not despite his disability but because of it. The second, told in flashbacks, illustrates Ady’s journey from a goofy political nerd to a prominent figure in the enduring fight for equity and justice who is “willing to give [his] last breath to save our democracy” (CNN).

From one of today’s most vocal advocates for social justice, Eyes to the Wind is an evocative and unforgettable memoir about activism, dedication, love, and hope.

Includes an excerpt from the song “Eyes to the Wind” by The War on Drugs!

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