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The Blind Writer: Stories and a Novella
216pp. February 2015
The Blind Writer: Stories and a Novella
Author: Pandya, Sameer;
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.

Intersections: Asian and Pacific American Transcultural Studies Series
"The finale of the collection is the novella The Blind Writer, a roller coaster of emotional baggage with its passive aggressive characters who form a decidedly intriguing love triangle. Told from the perspective of a struggling young writer, Pandya takes us through so much in such little time. . . . [The] collection is a must-read for those who want glimpses of the Indian American experience, filled with angst and ease, struggle and survival, success and loss." —Saadia Faruqi, The Aerogram

"The stories are spurred along by Pandya’s gift for quiet, laconic observation that ranges from wry and ironic to snide or absurd. . . . The novella, from which the book takes its name, packs a novel’s worth of writing into the book’s second half. Rather than seeming short, it instead comes across as lean and spare, just as long as it need be, but no longer. . . . Each of the components is finely-tuned; together, they form a composite whole. I don’t suppose many people read short fiction very often; this collection is a reminder why one should." —Peter Gordon, The Asian Review of Books (read the full review here)

"[Pandya's] greatest strength is the prose, and the delicious and well-crafted morsels he drops along the way. . . . We can only hope that Pandya continues to push the creative envelope by delving into his cultural past, but not to share the common tropes that many have come to associate with the immigrant voice; rather, Pandya’s gift is in his ability to pencil in characters whose ethnicity is only part of their story. In this way, Pandya’s work allows us to come full circle as the children of immigrants, and embrace our Americana, predicated as it is, on our otherness." —Shyam K. Sriram, PopMatters (read the full review here)

“Sameer Pandya’s stories are fine-tuned and precise, and carry an emotional load that breaks open inside us in ways that are, by turns, delicate and explosive.” —Gretel Ehrlich, author of Facing the Wave

“Pandya writes with grace and authority about characters revealed to us through their fears and dreams, mistakes and successes, longing and regrets.” —Keith Scribner, author of The Oregon Experiment, professor of English and creative writing, Oregon State University

"To be sure, the stories that introduce the collection are all wonderfully wrought, taut in their narrative precision, and do have that Chekhovian sensibility that Pandya himself references at one point in 'The Blind Writer.'" —Asian American Literature Fans, November 2015 [Read the full review here: http://asianamlitfans.livejournal.com/178648.html
Author: Pandya, Sameer;
Sameer Pandya was born in India and came to California when he was eight. He earned a BA from the University of California, Davis, and a PhD from Stanford University. He currently teaches literature and creative writing at the University of California, Santa Barbara.