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No Walls of Stone: An Anthology of Literature by Deaf and Hard of Hearing Writers Hardcover – October 1, 1992

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This collection of works by hearing-impaired writers offers extraordinary accounts of the perceptual worlds of people who are deaf or hear with difficulty. Several of the 23 contributors have previously published work elsewhere (David Wright, Jack Clemo, Trudy Drucker, Robert Panara), but first-time writers of considerable talent are also represented. The selections--short stories, fictional excerpts, essays, memoirs, poetry and one play-- interpret the experience of deafness against the background of wider subjects: birth and death, growing old, homelessness, the perils of the nuclear age, and nature. Passages from Hannah Merker's memoir, ``Listening,'' explore the myriad ways living beings communicate and the richness of sign language. Wright's autobiographical reminiscence chronicles the various strategems that hearing-impaired people use to cope with the frustrations of their affliction. In Michael Winters's fantasy tale ``Melusine,'' Zeus, Osiris, Allah and Jehovah bicker as humanity exiles its gods. Poetry makes up the bulk of the anthology, with many poems composed of subtle images that eloquently convey the challenge of living without hearing, as well as the marginalization that people who are deaf feel in an unaccommodating society. As she explains in an articulate introduction, anthropologist and linguist Jepson herself has moderate hearing loss.

Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Poetry, essays, short stories, and drama by hearing-impaired writers reveal that deafness is a richly textured world. The collection covers many topics, from audiology and the administration of a hearing test to the speech of the deaf transcribed as spoken English, offering details and information unfamiliar to most hearing people. The various authors compellingly utilize language to help the reader see more deeply and understand more profoundly the human condition, both in aspects particular to the deaf and in universal experiences shared by all. Not since the publication of Raija Nieminen's Voyage to the Island (Gallaudet Univ. Pr., 1990) has the silent universe been so dramatically explored. This landmark anthology deserves a wide readership. Recommended for all libraries.
- Nancy E. Zuwiyya, Binghamton City Sch. Dist., N.Y.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Gallaudet University Press; 1 edition (October 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156368019X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563680199
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,262,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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As a contributor to the book (short story, "Inner Ears"), my review obviously does not include my own work. This book is unique, edited by an anthropologist who was looking not for one story, but a compendium of views and feelings of many people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Jill Jepsen (editor) looks not at a "deaf culture" but at many experiences with deafness, a generous decision. Some deaf people live with signing, others with hearing aids and other mechanical devices, some with tinnitus and some without. Jepsen knows there is no ONE deaf culture, but many individuals who experience their handicap by fight or flight. Helen Keller said if she could have one sense back it would be hearing--blindness separates one from things; hearing separates one from people. Keller's view threads this anthology: the separation from people is the hardest part of deafness. This anthology is a remarkable compilation, in my humble opinion.
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This anthology contains poems, short stories, plays and excerpts from plays, essays and excerpts from memoirs by Deaf and hard of hearing writers. It is a beautiful and accessible read for any YA or adult reader, hearing or Deaf. The images, thoughts and stories that were shared offer insights into the Deaf experience, for me as a Hearing reader. It was a humbling and informative read as someone who is part of a majority that in our ignorance and fear have put deaf children through so much in the name of adaptation to a dominantly hearing world.
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