Do the Blind Dream? shows Gifford at the height of his powers, navigating with ease the new, more fragmented imaginative landscape of morning-after America. Gifford seems to have anticipated themes that suddenly are recognizable everywhere: the fragility of identity; the power of coincidence; the illusion of a secure tomorrow.
In contrast to his often nightmarish, satirical, groundbreaking novels of the 1990s—Wild at Heart, Perdita Durango, and Night People among them—Do the Blind Dream? continues in the tender and deeply introspective vein revealed in two recent works: Gifford's memoir The Phantom Father (named a New York Times Notable Book), and the award-winning novel Wyoming. From the intimate, stylistically daring examination of the darkest secrets in the history of an Italian family, to the terrible but often beautiful fears and discoveries of childhood, to the sardonic, desperate confusion of adult life, Do the Blind Dream? reveals an exceptionally versatile, highly tuned sensibility. Here is further evidence of what Alan Ryan wrote in the Atlantic Journal Constitution: "Gifford is one of those brave writers who go their own way, and challenge readers to follow."
Almost a quarter of a century ago, Armistead Maupin wrote that "Barry Gifford is all the proof the world will ever need that a writer who listens with his heart is capable of telling anyone's story." Yet only now does Gifford's sense of the American psyche converge with our own.