"A deeply moving, often humorous, and beautiful account of what it means to be the hearing child of profoundly deaf parents . . . I have rarely read anything on the subject more powerful or poignant than this extraordinary personal account by Lou Ann Walker." — Oliver Sacks
From the time she was a toddler, Lou Ann Walker acted as the ears and voice for her parents, who had lost their hearing at a young age. As soon as she was old enough to speak, her childhood ended, and she immediately assumed the responsibility of interpreter—translating doctors’ appointments and managing her parents’ business transactions. Their family life was warm and loving, but outside the home, they faced a world that misunderstood and often rejected them.
In this deeply moving memoir, Walker offers us a glimpse of a different world, bringing with it a broader reflection on how parents grow alongside their children and how children learn to navigate the world through the eyes of their parents.
This is much more of a story than the subtitle suggests, beautifully written and deeply affecting. Born in the Midwest in 1952, Walker is one of three hearing daughters of Gale and Doris Jean Walker, both deafened as babies by illnesses. As the oldest child, the author served as her parents' "interpreter,'' dealing with outsiders. There is humor in her recollections but nothing lighthearted in accounts of crude or condescending reactions to her father and mother from indifferent people. Walker is candid in detailing her own frustrations and the burdens of life with the deaf. Having graduated from Harvard, she eagerly went her own way, establishing a writing career in New York, but she reunites frequently with the family in a home warm with love and shared memories. The reader says a fervent amen when the author declares, ``I'd seen plenty of families where there was more communication and less love.''
I was captivated by the words that were expressed by this author. Even though she talked about her feelings growing up in a Deaf family, some of the same feelings and emotions were awakened in me that I had felt as a child even though I could hear. Every person hearing and Deaf should have the privilege of reading this book.
This was the most amazing book. I laughed, cried and even got mad a few times. I got this book for school but ended up buying it and reading it three times