Ryan Knighton

You might think a book about someone who, on his 18th birthday, was diagnosed with RP (retinitis pigmentosa), a congenital disease which is characterised by progressive night blindness, tunnel vision and eventual blindness, would be a sad and depressing read. This can't prepare you for the quirky and lively book Cockeyed by Knighton, a Canadian whose book has attracted worldwide attention.

From his descriptions of learning to drive, using a public toilet, trying to pass himself off as sighted to teach Korean children English, navigating the punk rock scene, this highly talented author manages to give us a terrific insight into his condition without any self pity and with a lively irreverent tone. The book was shortlisted for several literary awards, including the Stephen Leacock medal for Humour, Canadas national honour for the funniest book of the year. He may be one of the most original writers at the festival.