Henry Green's first novel, and the book that began his career as a master of British modernism
Blindness—Henry Green’s first novel, begun while he was still at Eton and finished before he left university—is the story of John Haye, a young student with literary airs. It starts with an excerpt from his diary, brimming with excitement and affectation and curiosity about life and literature. Then a freak accident robs John of his sight, plunging him into despair. Forced to live with his high-handed, horsey stepmother in the country, John begins a weird dalliance with a girl named Joan, leading to a new determination. Blindness is the curse of youth and inexperience and love and ambition, but blindness, John will discover, can also be the source of vision.
About the Author
Henry Green (1905–1973) was the pen name of Henry Vincent Yorke. Born near Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, England, he was educated at Eton and Oxford before working in his family’s engineering firm for most of his life while also writing novels. During World War II, Green served on the London Fire Brigade. He wrote nine novels between 1926 and 1952.
Daniel Mendelsohn is a classicist and nonfiction writer. His books include The New York Time bestseller The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, and the collection Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture, published by New York Review Books. He teaches at Bard College.