Candia McWilliam had just joined the judging panel of the Man Booker Prize for fiction in 2006 when she started to lose her sight. The gradual onset of blindness seemed especially cruel to someone whose life depended on reading and writing. As McWilliam's sight disappeared she looked inwards and began to remember her Edinburgh childhood, her mother's suicide, her teenage escape into another identity, her marriages, her children and, stalking all these memories, her increasing alcoholism.
What To Look For In Winter is a magical, uplifting and truly wise book about families and friendship, love and loss and that most elusive of things - a sense of self.
Candia McWilliam was born in Edinburgh. She is the author of A Case of Knives (1988) which won a Betty Trask Prize, A Little Stranger (1989), Debatable Land (1994) which was awarded the Guardian Fiction Prize and a collection of stories, Wait Till I Tell You (1997). In 2006 she began to suffer from the effects of blepharospasm and became functionally blind as a result. In 2009 she underwent an operation which harvested tendons from her leg in order to enable her to open her eyelids.