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From Reference & Research Book News
Gallaudet University Press has released a new anthology of deaf characters in literature. This book, edited by Gallaudet emerita (English) [Edna Edith] Sayers, updates the pioneering 1976 anthology. It includes work by both deaf and hearing authors portraying deaf characters. While a few excerpts from early works are included here, most are stand-alone pieces, and excerpts from longer works are often a necessary evil in order to include historical writing by or about underrepresented groups. The anthology begins with Daniel Dafoe in 1729 and ends with Marlin Barton and Julian Barnes, both from 2009. While the majority of the works included are from the US, with secondary representation from England, the editor has also included work from France, Italy, Korea, Denmark, Lithuania, Canada, South Africa, Nigeria, and England/Guyana. Male and female authors are both well represented. The editor provides introductory and concluding essays, on deaf characters from the perspectives of writer and reader. The writers anthologized offer short work in a variety of literary styles and eras in nonfiction and fiction, with a preponderance in the twentieth-century American short story of fifteen pages or less; the book will appeal to any literary reader. It is a must-have book for deaf studies. While it has obvious uses in cultural and minority studies in general, this book is also an important one for any teacher seeking diverse and skillful short work for classes in English literature, creative writing, or composition; new literary anthologies with this mix of work by famous authors and skilled work by new and less-known authors are becoming rare, due to the increasing cost and difficulty of obtaining permissions.
Edna Edith Sayers is former Professor of English at Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.
ISBN 978-1-56368-539-2, 7 x 10 paperback, 368 pages, references
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