Gravity

A Place I’ve Never Been

By

Viking £12.99 order from our bookshop

Theo had a choice between a drug that would save his sight and a drug that would keep him alive, so he chose not to go blind. He stopped the pills and started the injections – these required the implantation of an unpleasant and painful catheter just above his heart – and within a few days the clouds in his eyes started to clear up; he could see again. He remembered going into New York City to a show with his mother, when he was twelve and didn’t want to admit he needed glasses. “Can you read that?” she’d shouted, pointing to a Broadway marquee, and when he’d squinted, making out only one or two letters, she’d taken off her own glasses – harlequins with tiny rhinestones in the corners – and shoved them onto his face. The world came into focus, and he gasped, astonished at the precision around the edges of things, the legibility, the hard, sharp, colourful landscape. Sylvia had to squint through Fiddler on the Roof that day, but for Theo, his faced masked by his mother’s huge glasses, everything was as bright and vivid as a comic book. Even though people stared at him, and muttered things, Sylvia didn’t care; he could see.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Why did the 'bold and determined' Empress Matilda never manage to become Queen regnant? Peter Marshall reviews a n… ,
    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,