Up at Oxford continues the evocative autobiographical series 'Continents of Exile' which Ved Menta began with Daddyji and Mamaji. Oxford had engaged his imagination since he was a small, blind Hindu boy growing up under the Raj In those days in India, education for the blind amounted to not much more than confinement in an orphanage.
To make his way from that to what he saw as the pinnacle of academic excellence was an extraordinary achievement as well as the realisation of a dream.; Few foreign undergraduates have entered the stream of English life with more gusto than Ved. He struggled (successfully) to keep up with brilliant and sighted contemporaries, debated, became part of a literary circle led by the mercurial and captivating Dom Moraes, was charmed by young ladies with sophisticated accents, and strove to adopt the mannerisms of the English upper class.; The Oxford of the late Fifties was very different from today's.
Many of those whom Ved met there appear memorably in these pages, among them W.H. Auden, Christopher Hill, Neville Coghill, Peter Levi, Allen Ginsberg, John Masefield, Isaiah Berlin, John Sparrow, Lord David Cecil and E.M. Forster.; This book is a poignant, witty, candid account of the journey made from freshman dinner to anxious Finals by one of the most extraordinary undergraduates ever to go up to Oxford. No one who has memories of that place, or who has enjoyed previous books from Ved Mehta's engaging series, should miss it.; Ved Mehta has been a MacArthur Fellow and a Visiting Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford. For the last three years he has held the Rosenkranz Chair in Writing at Yale College.
The earlier books in 'Continents of Exile' are Daddyji, Mamaji, Vedi, The Ledge Between the Streams, Sound-Shadows of the New World and The Stolen Light. New editions of his well-known books on the country of his birth - Portrait of India and Mahatma Gandhi and His Apostles - were recently published by Yale University Press.