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7:3 Thursday, March 24, 2005

Remarkable Women, Remarkable Deaf Lives

Three Deaf Women Share Their Incredible Stories

Bainy Cyrus, Eileen Katz and Celeste Cheyney, and Frances M. Parsons seemed to have taken to heart the thoughts of French feminist theorist Helene Cixous when she wrote, “It is by writing, from and toward women, . . . that women will confirm women in a place other than that which is reserved in and by the symbolic, that is, in a place other than silence.” These words eloquently describe the authors of Deaf Women’s Lives: Three Self-Portraits, the third volume in the Deaf Lives series.

Series editor Brenda Jo Bruegemann introduces this collection by stating, “Bainy Cyrus, Frances M. Parsons, and Eileen Katz (with Celeste Cheyney) claim writing as their own in this triple-text memoir of deaf women’s lives. The three authors featured in this autobiographical triptych all grew up and became young adults—as deaf/hard-of-hearing persons and as women—in different times, circumstances, and locations. Each of their memoirs is unique. Yet they share a common quality; each confirms the others’ experiences. These are remarkable women. These are remarkable writers. These are remarkable deaf people. They all relate narratives that are consumed by—and created with—writing, with words, and with a rich and yet sometimes troubled journey into and through literacy in print and spoken languages.”

Read an excerpt from this unique collection from Bainy Cyrus’s All Eyes. And, use your exclusive subscriber discount to save 20% off the regular price when you order Deaf Women’s Lives.

In a recent review, Library Journal applauded Deaf Hearing Boy: A Memoir, R.H. Miller’s compelling account of being the oldest of four hearing boys born to deaf parents, stating, “Miller offers a glimpse into the deaf world from his perspective as a CODA—a child of deaf adults—relating a life spent navigating the often treacherous waters between the hearing and deaf worlds. Raised in the 1940s and 1950s, Miller writes of his family’s struggles, both financial and familial. In typical 1930s fashion, his parents were educated in a strict boarding school for the deaf, where they learned few skills for surviving in a hearing world. Marrying against the wishes of their hearing parents, Miller’s mother and father struggled to provide for their growing family despite a lack of family support and the prejudices of the hearing world in general. In this account of Miller’s coming of age, and the effect of having deaf parents, Miller offers an enlightening look at deaf culture.” Read more about Miller’s experiences in Chapter Seven, “A New Life,” and order Deaf Hearing Boy.

Literacy and Deaf People: Cultural and Contextual Perspectives, edited by Brenda Jo Brueggemann, garnered the following acclaim from Wisconsin Bookwatch, the library newsletter from The Midwest Book Review: “Literacy and Deaf People offers thought-provoking, expertly researched essays that sharply criticize current systems and a dominant hearing culture that typically assumes their literacy skills will be inferior to those of hearing society. A welcome and serious-minded contribution to reading shelves concerning the educational needs of deaf students, especially in higher education.” Read the full review online.

Divided into two parts, Literacy and Deaf People covers a range of topics from how deaf children learn to how literacy can be extended to deaf people beyond the age of 20. Read Chapter Two, “What Does Culture Have to Do with the Education of Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing?,” and order your copy here.


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