Yes, the title DOES make sense. Perhaps not blind, but the explanation comes relatively early in the book — and it’s what the whole of the book is about. The What is the unknown — the Dinka of Sudan have a creation myth where God gave them good land and cattle and offered them the choice where they could keep that, or they could have The What. He wouldn’t reveal what the What was, but the Dinka still had to decide. They went with what they could see. Then, it is said that God made the same offer to the Sudanese Arabs — who chose the What. This book is about Valentino Achak Deng and his attempt to discover what the What is.
Full Disclosure Time: This book was written by Ivan Henley, whose name you may recognize as a Kittysneezes contributor. (In fact, I’d hope you WOULD recognize it, as he wrote the piece before last.) However, I had nothing to do with this book — I hadn’t read any previous drafts or anything like that; Ivan just sent me a copy asking for a review; here is that review. Even though Ivan is a friend of mine, rest assured that this review is an HONEST one; I wouldn’t write or post anything but. But that desire for honesty forces me to be completely up front about the connections between myself, the site, and the author. Kittysneezes is not necessarily adverse to reviewing materials done by other Kittysneezes authors, but all such reviews shall be honest and done by a KS author whose only connection to the work is that s/he experienced the finished product and ONLY the finished product. Thank you for understanding.
Ivan Henley’s a busy guy. He’s got a couple webcomics, quite a few books, and he writes for this site, even. Escape From Achrinom, the first in his new Captain Exetre series, is worth checking out, particularly if you’re a genre sci-fi fan.