The Cry of the Gull

First Edition

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The life story of the actress who starred in the Academy Award-nominated film "Beyond Silence."



Emmanuelle Laborit begins her autobiography The Cry of the Gull with a simple explanation of how sign language changed her life: "With the help of sign language, I understood that yesterday was behind me, and tomorrow was in front of me." She learned this at the age of seven, and soon after, she realized that being deaf could be a positive part of her identity.
     After a lengthy period of trouble in class and at home, she determined to finish school and fight for the rights of other deaf French people. She also took up acting, leading to her ultimate triumph as Sarah in the French production of Children of a Lesser God. She was the first deaf French actor to win the Moliere Award in the category of best new talent. Her book The Cry of the Gull is both a revealing and encouraging story for young people everywhere.



"'My French is a bit stilted,' she writes. 'Sign language is my real culture.' Because of this she decides to work with a hearing collaborator who would help her transcribe her expressive gestures into the emotional torrent that became this memoir. Hers is an appealing, youthful, courageous voice, piquant and determined at once."

— Publishers Weekly

"Nicknamed Mouette (seagull) for her audible but unintelligible cries at an early age, Laborit overcame the ignorance of others (including her own parents) to champion the rights of the deaf."

— Library Journal

"This fascinating, memorable book will appeal to the deaf community, to hearing parents of deaf children, and to students of communication."

— Booklist

Advance Praise

"From the little girl with her seagull-voiced screaming fits and no conception of time or chronology, to the rebellious social misfit, to the voracious reader with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, to the European star of stage and screen, Emmanuelle Laborit's memoir astounds at every turn."

— Bill Moody, French and American Sign Language interpreter and author of the French Sign Language dictionary "La langue des signes"