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17:2 Monday, February 23, 2015

From the World of Sound to a World of Silence

A Late-Deafened Adolescent Finds His Place in the Deaf Community

The ninth volume in the Gallaudet Classics in Deaf Studies series, Howard L. Terry’s Mickey’s Harvest: A Novel of a Deaf Boy’s Checkered Life recounts the rollicking tale of a late-deafened young man’s emerging sense of Deaf identity, community, art, and labor in early twentieth-century America. Loosely framed as a diary, it describes the many adventures and travails of Mickey Dunmore, a young man who becomes deaf at the age of twelve after a near-drowning at sea.

Kristen C. Harmon notes in her introduction that “this novel is at times an exciting adventure tale, and at other times a somber reflection, in narrative form, on the many challenges facing deaf individuals and the Deaf community at that time. These challenges include the effects of eugenics and commonly held ideas about ‘deaf genes,’ discriminatory policies and proposed legislation banning deaf people from driving or from working in specific settings, stereotyped attitudes and their effect on employment of young able-bodied Deaf men, the costs of oralism and what Mickey’s friend calls ‘the wrecked brain,’ the difficulties of getting insurance, the struggle of Deaf men in the business side of the artistic professions, peddling and the negative effects of deaf imposterism, the exploitation of deaf people in settings as varied as the circus and in the movies, and deaf victims of family shame.” “It is also a romance,” she continues, “between seemingly star-crossed young lovers, both deaf, both latecomers to the white Deaf community at the time. It is the story of one relatively late-deafened young man’s journey into white Deaf communities and networks—including the community newspapers that comprised the ‘Little Paper Family’—of that era.”

Purchase your copy of Mickey’s Harvest, and receive a savings of 20% off with your exclusive subscriber discount. When ordering online, type “FEB2015” in the box labeled “use promo code.” You may also order by mail.


Telling Deaf Lives: Agents of Change, edited by Kristin Snoddon, enters Deaf communities around the world through their histories recounted by their members, thus creating a transnational phenomenon. ProtoView (formerly Reference & Research Book News) wrote in its online database that “the 2012 Deaf History International Conference, in its 8th year, included presentations by 27 different members of the international Deaf community. Presenters were diverse, hailing from 12 different countries and a variety of experiences. This collection features 20 of the best of those stories. The book is separated into five parts, focusing on autobiographies, biographies of deaf pioneers, collective histories of the Deaf community, Deaf arts, and Deaf history. The importance of art and storytelling is highlighted throughout the work.” Read more about this engrossing collection now, and order Telling Deaf Lives online or by mail.


The Midwest Book Review singles out this study by Gina A. Oliva and Linda Risser Lytle, stating, “Turning the Tide: Making Life Better for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Schoolchildren comes from authors who both experienced being the only deaf student in a regular school. They became educators and studied deaf and hard of hearing students in these schools, interviewing in three different regions of the country and examining issues ranging from socialization to K–12 interpreting and programs for deaf students. They added comments from interpreters, educators and parents and used this information to provide ideas on improving schools for all deaf children. Turning the Tide is an important survey, highly recommended for any[one] involved with the deaf community and its needs.” Read more about this new study in chapter three, “The Struggle to Shape an Identity,” and order Turning the Tide online or by mail.


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