Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Beth Finke  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children; Children;

Born: in Elmhurst, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Finke was born in Elmhurst, Illinois. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois and now lives in the Printers Row neighborhood of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Beth Finke is a NPR Commentator, an award-winning author, teacher and journalist who also happens to be blind.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Long Time, No See
ISBN: 0252072197

University of Illinois Press. 2004

Long Time, No See is certainly an inspiring story, but Beth Finke does not aim to inspire. Eschewing reassuring platitudes and sensational pleas for sympathy, she charts her struggles with juvenile diabetes, blindness, and a host of other hardships, sharing her feelings of despair and frustration as well as her hard-won triumphs. Rejecting the label “courageous,” she prefers to describe herself using the phrase her mother invoked in times of difficulty: “She did what she had to do.”
With unflinching candor and acerbic wit, Finke chronicles the progress of the juvenile diabetes that left her blind at the age of twenty-six as well as the seemingly endless spiral of adversity that followed. First she was forced out of her professional job. Then she bore a multiply handicapped son. But she kept moving forward, confronting marital and financial problems and persevering through a rocky training period with a seeing-eye dog.
Finke’s life story and her commanding knowledge of her situation give readers a clear understanding of diabetes, blindness, and the issues faced by parents of children with significant disabilities. Because she has taken care to include accurate medical information as well as personal memoir, Long Time, No See serves as an excellent resource for others in similar situations and for professionals who deal with disabled adults or children.

Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound
ISBN: 0979291801

Blue Marlin Publications. 2007

Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound, is the story of how Beth, who is blind, travels safely around the city--to work, shopping, even to baseball games--with the help of Hanni, a specially-trained Golden/Labrador Retriever. It's a touching tale of mutual devotion and teamwork. Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound includes factual information about how Hanni was raised and trained, how Beth and Hanni learned to work together as a team, and what it's like to be blind.


  • ''Long Time No See'' was a Book Sense University Press Top Ten List and named one of Chicago Tribune's favorite non-fiction books for 2003
  • ''Hanni and Beth

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    To see a complete listing of Beth's speaking engagements and upcoming appearances, go to http August 11 (Thursday)

    2 p.m. Lincoln Park Village Presentation on Memoir Writing 773.248.8700