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

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The Feminist Press at CUNY, May 1, 2010 - Family & Relationships - 250 pages
A revealing memoir of a family and a “wrenching journey into deafness from the standpoint of a mother, a wife, a daughter, a philosopher, and a Jew” (Ilan Stavans, author of On Borrowed Words: A Memoir of Language).
When her daughters were born deaf, Jennifer Rosner was stunned. Then she discovered a hidden history of deafness in her family, going back generations to the Jewish enclaves of Eastern Europe. Traveling back in time in her mind, she imagined her silent relatives, who showed surprising creativity in dealing with a world that preferred to ignore them.
Here, in a “gentle meditation on sound and silence, love and family” Rosner shares her journey into the modern world of deafness, and the controversial decisions she and her husband made about hearing aids, cochlear implants and sign language (Publishers Weekly).
Punctuated by memories of being unheard, Rosner’s imaginative odyssey of dealing with her daughters’ deafness is at its heart a story of whether she—a mother with perfect hearing—can ever truly hear her children.

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User Review  - suesbooks - LibraryThing

This book was fine to learn about the hearing impaired community, and how a family dealt with their hearing impaired daughters. Some fiction was interspersed, but it added very little to the book, as the writing was journalistic. Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Jennifer Rosner is the author of the children's book, The Mitten String, and the editor of the collection The Messy Self. Her work has appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Wondertime Magazine, and the Hastings Center Report. She holds a PhD in philosophy from Stanford University, and currently lives in Massachusetts with her family.

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