My Sense of Silence: MEMOIRS OF A CHILDHOOD WITH DEAFNESS (Creative Nonfiction)

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9780252075773: My Sense of Silence: MEMOIRS OF A CHILDHOOD WITH DEAFNESS (Creative Nonfiction)

Lennard J. Davis grew up as the hearing child of deaf parents. In this candid, affecting, and often funny memoir, he recalls the joys and confusions of this special world, especially his complex and sometimes difficult relationships with his working-class Jewish immigrant parents. Gracefully slipping through memory, regret, longing, and redemption, My Sense of Silence is an eloquent remembrance of human ties and human failings.

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About the Author:

Lennard J. Davis is a professor of English, Disability and Human Development, and Medical Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has written several books and published essays in The Nation, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and other publications, and he has been a commentator on National Public Radio.

From Library Journal:

His identity as a child of deaf adults led Davis (English, SUNY at Binghamton) to edit and publish his parents' correspondence in Shall I Say a Kiss?: The Courtship Letters of a Deaf Couple, 1936-38 (Gallaudet Univ., 1999). Davis's new memoir focuses on how his parents' deafness affected him. He writes frankly about the difficulties he encountered, such as his inability to call his parents when he needed comfort during the night and his having to serve as their interpreter. He also discusses his embarrassment at his Jewish immigrant parents' poor working-class lifestyle during his childhood and adolescence in the Bronx. On the other hand, the author also infuses his writing with humor and the sense of the love and respect he developed for his parents and their accomplishments. In the epilog, he even implies that his upbringing contributed to many of his own successes. For instance, he mentions that his appreciation for language and strong communication skills are related to his early experience with sign language. Indeed, Davis's descriptions of the richness and complexity of sign language are the most fascinating portions of the book. Highly recommended for all public libraries.
-Ximena Chrisagis, Wright State Univ Libs., Dayton, OH
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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