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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Septuagenarian Uhlberg recounts his unusual childhood in this lovely memoir. Taking readers back to Depression-era Brooklyn and the beach at Coney Island, Uhlberg describes how his father, a handsome printer, fell in love with his mother, a fun-loving beauty. But these beachgoers were far from normal -- they were both deaf. Ultimately they married, and despite their families' fear that their children would likely suffer their own affliction, they decided to start a family. In this way, their hearing son, Myron, enters the world.
With candor and humor, Uhlberg recounts a childhood spent largely as a bridge between his parents and the hearing world. Translating from sign language to spoken language and back again, he enables his father to communicate with local shopkeepers, awakens his parents when his baby brother cries, and even interprets at a less-than-glowing parent-teacher conference. At times, he's embarrassed by his parents, and hurt that his father is called "dummy." But in the end, his overwhelming love and compassion leaves a lasting effect.
Uhlberg notes that his father asked him to describe sounds -- that of thunder or of waves crashing onto the shore. Perhaps it was in searching for words to such impossible questions that Uhlberg became the gifted writer he is today. (Spring 2009 Selection)