If a Tree Falls: A Family's Quest to Hear and Be Heard

If a Tree Falls: A Family's Quest to Hear and Be Heard

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by Jennifer Rosner

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Hearing parents battle to do what's best for their deaf children.See more details below


Hearing parents battle to do what's best for their deaf children.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rosner turns what could have been a depressing story into a gentle meditation on sound and silence, love and family. She writes with honesty and empathy about her daughter Sophia's diagnosis with deafness and the adjustments she and her husband had to make. She describes the birth of her second daughter, Juliet, a few years later (who received a similar diagnosis) and shares the programs and technology available to help the hearing impaired. "Bill and I were talkers. We were constantly debating, questioning, arguing, doubting, agreeing, wondering aloud. And we were hearers, in the hearing world. A soundless, wordless world was unimaginable to us." The author can't resist looking into the hows and whys of her situation and examines her family tree only to find relatives generations ago who had been deaf. She also works to reconcile her difficult relationship with her mother and asks frequent theoretical questions: "What are the elements essential for identity, for personhood, for perception and existence?" She fills the discussion with philosophy and grace.
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From the Publisher

“Deep and moving truths fall out of this enchanting memoir, as deafness becomes a means of exploring the grave obstacles we all face in knowing what it is like to be another."—Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction

"This beautiful book is about listening—really listening—to children, history, and one's own knowing heart. It's an exquisite memoir, crossed with poetry and the unmistakable shine of truth."—Catherine Newman, author of Waiting for Birdy

"With profound honesty and endearing humility, Rosner writes about the searing emotional challenges that parents can face, and about absorbing these lessons and moving into deeper wisdom. A beautiful, deeply felt exploration of love and hard choices."—Josh Swiller, author of The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa

“This wrenching journey into deafness from the standpoint of a mother, a wife, a daughter, a philosopher, and a Jew explores the meaning of sound in a soundless world. If a Tree Falls shows the extent to which what we hear comes not only from our contemporaries but from the people who came before us and those who will succeed us.”—Ilan Stavans, author of On Borrowed Words: A Memoir of Language

"Jennifer Rosner's If a Tree Falls is the kind of memoir that reminds the reader how we are all part of the same long line: complicated selves finding our way in a world that challenges us to discover our deeper resilience and untold strengths."—Vicki Forman, author of This Lovely Life: A Memoir of Premature Motherhood

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Product Details

Feminist Press at CUNY, The
Publication date:
Jewish Women Writers Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

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