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The sixth volume of Mehta's personal/family history, which picks up after he has left the Arkansas School for the Blind (Sound-Shadows of the New World, 1985) and joined his physician father in California. Ved wants to attend college, but Daddiji, who is eking out a meager existence on a Fulbright fellowship at Berkeley, can only parade the rueful, embarrassed 18-year-old before members of California's wealthy and idiosyncratic Indian community in hopes of financial help. A scholarship comes through in the nick of time and Ved enrolls at Pomona, a small, private college. Lacking Braille texts, he is dependent on time-consuming hired readers, and frets over the difficulties of keeping up with his assignments. Yet he becomes the top student from sophomore year on. After a lonely start, he makes numerous friends; even submits to the silly rituals of fraternity induction; and then falls hopelessly in love with beautiful, popular Johnnie (Joan) Johnstone, but must settle for a sordid affair with another reader whom he regards as commonplace. This ends after he antes up money for an abortion. Daddiji, meanwhile, has become ""court physician""/companion/gofer to an elderly, wealthy, iconoclastic American woman who also provides financial help to Ved and gives quirky zip to these pages. At book's end, Ved has completed his first autobiographical effort, latter to be published as Face to Face, and is on his way to grad school at Harvard. Like many coming-of-age memoirs, very much self-involved; as always with Mehta, however, lambently written, with the author's blindness adding an always interesting dimension to his story.

Pub Date: March 7th, 1989
Publisher: Norton