Illinois Authors

The Illinois Center for the Book banner

Beth Finke

Born: in Elmhurst, Illinois
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: 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.

Biography: Beth Finke is a NPR Commentator, an award-winning author, teacher and journalist who also happens 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

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers; Children; Children; Young adult readers

Facebook: Facebook:
Beth Finke on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

Hanni and Beth :
ISBN: 0979291801 OCLC: 82673546

Hanni, a seeing eye dog, describes how she helps her owner, Beth, to maneuver through the day.

  Long time, no see
ISBN: 9780616503409 OCLC: 1012109523

CNIB, Toronto : 2009.

NPR commentator's memoir of confronting blindness from diabetic retinopathy. Includes medical information pertinent to her personal experience as she discusses going blind as a twenty-six-year-old newlywed, having and caring for a multiply disabled child, using a talking-computer setup, and acquiring a guide dog to support her independence. Some strong language. 2003.

Long time, no see /
ISBN: 0252072197 OCLC: 785782180

University of Illinois Press, Urbana : 2003.

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.