Book 5 in Ved Mehta's Continents of Exile series. Nearly 50 years in the making, Continents of Exile is one of the great works of twentieth-century autobiography: the epic chronicle of an Indian family in the twentieth century. From 1930s India to 1950s Oxford and literary New York in the 1960s-80s, this is the story of the post-colonial twentieth century, as uniquely experienced and vividly recounted by Ved Mehta.
In 1949, fifteen-year-old Ved Mehta -- blind since the age of four -- left his native India and travelled alone to a school for the blind in Arkansas, USA. For the next three years he studied with over a hundred blind or partially sighted children at the school. Here, he would learn how to deal with Western teachers, date girls, and begin to perceive objects by means of 'sound-shadows'. Sound-Shadows of the New World brilliantly traces the emigrant experience amid the difficult transition from adolescence into adulthood.
Mehta's touching, often funny and always fascinating odyssey provides us with a unique picture in prose as pure and lambent as lake water
His fall into blindness had broken open his perception so that nothing escapes him . . . he has a clarity that is sometimes like clairvoyance
Well-chosen details represent more than themselves... The trick is to choose the details, which Mehta does with consummate, sly skill
A fabulous achievement
Intelligent, critically observing ... extraordinary