“A quite astonishing tour de force...it announced the entry on the literary stage of the most genuinely original novelist of his day.... [Green] had an ear which was most delicately and sensitively attuned to every cadence and nuance of the English language as it is actually spoken.”—Encounter
“Writers do not need to see but to feel, to get away from reality by closing their eyes to it. This exchange of the sensual for the cerebral is a sacrifice without which no art will be made. It is symbolized overpoweringly in Blindness.”—John Sturrock, The Times Literary Supplement
“[Blindness] is a polished piece of energetic young work that students of the 20th-century novel’s development will be eager to examine. And Green’s admirers will welcome a significant addition to his relatively small canon.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Green’s remains the most interesting and vital imagination in English fiction in our time.”—Eudora Welty
“Green’s novels reproduce as few do the actual sensations of living.”—Elizabeth Bowen
“At its highest pitch Green’s writing brings the rectangle of the printed page alive like little else in English fiction in this century.”—John Updike
“Blindness is a literary masterpiece that displays the sheer breadth of his abilities. Green uses parenthetical statements and an idiosyncratic sentence structure to describe innovative methods of interpretation in a state of blindness. One of the great unsung architects of modernist literature, Green uses the concept of blindness to show that we are inherently blind to the true nature of reality.”—Qwiklit Blog
Green’s first novel is stronger and more affecting than many a novelist’s mature work. Preternaturally accomplished in its technique and impressive in its humanity and wisdom, it suffers only in comparison to the achievement that would follow.
—From the Introduction by Daniel Mendelsohn
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.