Diana Athill

Beyond his Blindness

The Red Letters: My Father's Enchanted Period

By Ved Mehta

SInclair-Stevenson 208pp £15.99 order from our bookshop

Dark Harbor: Building House and Home on an Enchanted Island

By Ved Mehta

SInclair-Stevenson 288pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

Remembering Mr Shawn's New Yorker: The Invisible Art of Editing

By Ved Mehta

SInclair-Stevenson 414pp £19.99 order from our bookshop

Ved Mehta has now completed an extraordinary and grand achievement: the series of eleven books, written (between other books) over many years, called ‘Continents of Exile’. It is the history of his remarkable life, told in a way that illuminates much of life in general.

Ved was struck blind just before he was four, at a time when, in India, blindness was seen as punishment for sins in a past life, which wiped out any prospect of a career or of marriage. In defiance of this, he developed an almost obsessive determination to behave as though he were not blind. This strategy, with its conflicting advantages and disadvantages, shaped his life almost as much as did the strength of his intelligence, and has coloured much of ‘Continents of Exile’. I shall discuss only the last four of its books, but they all contain enough retrospective material to put a newcomer in the picture.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Weekend read 2: Take inspiration from Jonathan Meades's 'anti'-recipes and 'serve up a treat' this Sunday ,
    • If you're at , starting tomorrow, there are free copies of Literary Review for festival attendees. Grab while stocks last!,
    • Weekend read 1: 'The fiery meteor that was Victor Grayson', as presented in David Clark's biography ,
    • We’re offering the chance to win a copy of I Am Not Your Negro. You can find all the information in our newsletter: ,
    • Stephen Bates reviews Richard Ingrams's biography of Ludovic Kennedy ,
    • RT : Pls enjoy my interview about the Bad Sex Awards w @Lit_Review-"My body was her gearstick" & "his bulbous salutation" ,
    • RT : Come for the insights about love from , stay for the readings from the 's Bad Sex Award winners! ,