The Blind Writer

The Blind Writer: Stories and a Novella

Sameer Pandya
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  • Book Info
    The Blind Writer
    Book Description:

    Together, the five stories and novella in this collection follow the lives of first- and second-generation Indian Americans living in contemporary California. The characters share a similar sensibility: a sense that immigration is a distant memory, yet an experience that continues to shape the decisions they make in subtle and surprising ways as they go about the complicated business of everyday living. The collection is anchored by the title novella about a love triangle between an aging, blind writer, his younger beautiful wife, and a young man desperate to start a writing life. Over several months, the three will get to know one another and move toward a moment that will change the lives of each of them forever.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-5434-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xii)
  3. Part One
    • M-o-t-h-e-r
      (pp. 3-18)

      Uma Shastri had worried about loving her boys too much. But then again, she wondered, what in the world was too much?

      In high school and college, Uma was good at math and economics only because she studied so hard. But with a field hockey stick or a tennis racquet in her hand, her body slid to all the right places without conscious thought. With her strong thighs, quick feet, and icy insides, she was always the best player on any field. Later, when she was married, she wanted a daughter but learned to be excited about the boys that...

    • Ajay the Lover
      (pp. 19-38)

      That summer, the first woman he met had spent the previous three years on tour with Cirque du Soleil performing a piece inspired by her training in classical Indian dance. Neela had recently left the Cirque. She was tired of touring and was now applying to law school. She had been in the Bay Area visiting some friends, and leading up to their date, all Ajay could think about was her perfect dancer’s body. The thought aroused him, but only until he remembered his own, which had never been in ideal shape. He had grown into a tall, well-built man,...

    • Welcome Back, Mahesh
      (pp. 39-58)

      After spending eighteen months in a minimum-security prison for grand theft, Mahesh Shah could not clearly picture the new life he wanted. He looked forward to seeing his family but wanted a couple of weeks by himself, away from prison and his old life. While he had spent a great deal of his sentence working in the prison library, and becoming the prison Scrabble champion, each member of his immediate family had developed diff erent ideas about the Mahesh who had sold hundreds of bottles of stolen vodka at the family liquor store and the Mahesh who was now returning...

    • Patrick Ewing’s Father
      (pp. 59-76)

      I had recently moved to New York City for a new job. I was thrilled to be there, and I stared to take in the newness of it all. I liked to stare. I liked looking at how people dressed, the shoes they wore, the books they read, and the looks on their faces. I liked listening to the words and content of conversations, and I was particularly intrigued by disagreements and fights. And I liked to visualize the size and the look of women’s breasts. It was easier in summer than in winter, but in the winter I could...

    • A House warming
      (pp. 77-90)

      Diligence afforded Rohit Mehta some luxuries—occasional rounds of golf, a twenty-two-hundred-square-foot house in a well-spaced suburban development, a treadmill and a TV in the garage. On the weekends, he spent time with his family, playing doubles, growing zucchinis and peaches in the backyard, and taking weekend trips to Tahoe and Carmel. His wife, Gayatri, whom he’d first met when he was three and then married at twenty-five the summer before his last year in business school, took care of all house hold issues. How could he not love a woman who made him one perfect sunny-side-up egg every morning,...

  4. Part Two
    • The Blind Writer
      (pp. 93-198)

      When I was a graduate student, preparing for a career I would eventually abandon, I did something that, now that I am older and finely attuned to the cruelty of consequence, surprises me.

      I received an email announcing that a prominent writer spending a year at the Center—a think tank of sorts at my university where established writers and scholars came for a year to think—needed an assistant. Over the years, these stays had produced many scholarly books that I read then with the care and precision of a miniaturist but are now just books in stacked, weakened...

  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 199-200)
  6. Back Matter
    (pp. 201-205)