The Feel of Silence

Overview

"I spin a roll of toilet paper-hard, and the paper unwinds to the floor. Does it make a noise as it unfurls? As it hits the floor? When ice cream melts and drips on my sleeve does it make a noise? Or will it only make a noise if it drips onto a hard surface, like the ground, rather than on my soft sleeve? ...They tell me that escaping air makes a sound. How? When?"

With these seemingly simple questions, Bonnie Poitras Tucker introduces us to "the feel of silence." Tucker, profoundly deaf since infancy, became ...
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Overview

"I spin a roll of toilet paper-hard, and the paper unwinds to the floor. Does it make a noise as it unfurls? As it hits the floor? When ice cream melts and drips on my sleeve does it make a noise? Or will it only make a noise if it drips onto a hard surface, like the ground, rather than on my soft sleeve? ...They tell me that escaping air makes a sound. How? When?"

With these seemingly simple questions, Bonnie Poitras Tucker introduces us to "the feel of silence." Tucker, profoundly deaf since infancy, became an expert lipreader who never learned sign language and did not meet another deaf person until her mid-thirties. Her compelling story propels the reader through an odyssey of motions-the tension inherent in a battle against the odds.

This intimate memoir is interlaced with moving examples of the ironies and trials of accommodating a hearing world. After spending 17 years as a full-time wife and mother, Tucker embarked on a "second life," divorced, with several children to support. Alternately angry and sad, funny and introspective, Tucker explains how she sometimes "bluffed" instead of announcing her deafness.

Unable to read lips in the dark, candle-lit restaurants, or the turn of dusk left Tucker without a means of communication, virtually paralyzed. Daily frustration resulted from the practicalities of responding to a crying child, airplane announcements, repairmen knocking at the door, a ringing telephone, and following the rapid-fire debates that take place in the classroom and the courtroom.

Opposed to the "Deaf is Dandy" movement, Tucker successfully strategized her way through college, dating, motherhood, and law school, and went on to become a corporate litigator, a law professor, and an expert in several areas of the law, including disability rights.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this witty, warm, and sensitive memoir, a successful lawyer and professor recalls her life as a child, student, wife, mother, and grandmother. Tucker had to battle against all odds because she also happened to be profoundly deaf. In a poignant, compelling manner, she recounts how she accommodated to the hearing world, becoming a skilled lipreader without learning sign language and never meeting another deaf person until her mid-thirties. Again and again, Tucker emphasizes how important it was for her to be in the mainstream of society and to be involved with life, despite the many difficult choices her disability caused. The humor, anger, sadness, victory, and frustration she expresses combine to leave readers with a refreshing understanding of hearing loss. Recommended for general readers.Emily Ferren, Carroll Cty. P.L., Westminster, Md.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566393522
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Series: Health Society And Policy Series
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 1,491,186
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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