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A Loss for Words


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"A deeply moving, often humorous, and beautiful account of what it means to be the hearing child of profoundly deaf parents . . . I have rarely read anything on the subject more powerful or poignant than this extraordinary personal account by Lou Ann Walker."-- Oliver Sacks"[Walker) describes in moving detail the joys of growing up in a family where the simplest communication was never taken for granted." -- "Newsweek""In this remarkable memoir, Walker recreates the pain and the joy ofgrowing up between two worlds: her parents' loving but silent home, and theoften confusing world she encountered outside those walls, and of which shewas inevitably a part." -- "Seattle Times-Post Intelligencer""I have never thought hard about this before, but now I see that what deaf people do in sign language is even more mysteriously and specifically, biologically human than speech itself. My respect for the deaf, always high, is now still higher. My awe for the human mind is out of sight." -- Lewis Thomas"Readers will come away from this book informed, deeply moved and full of admiration for Walker's marvelous parents."-- "People""I loved "A Loss for Words." [The] style is brisk and clear and, it seems to me, never sentimental . . . The Lou Ann who emerges to find her own voice and write this book is a character whom I admire as much as any literary hero." -- Max Apple"In the end, I wanted to cheer Lou Ann Walker for having thegumption to write about a matter so close to her heart, learning to love and accept her parents as they are, not as she wished them to be. This is a gem of a book." -- "Glamour""Beautifully written and deeply affecting . . . There is humor in [Walker's] recollections but nothinglighthearted in accounts of crude or condescending reactions to her father and mother from indifferent people. Walker is candid in dealing with her own frustrations and the burdens of life with the deaf." -- "Publishers Weekly""So profoundly other is the unhearing culture . . . that moving itinto a language we learn by hearing took both gifts and a nearlysavage determination." -- "New York Times Book Review"This book is worth reading simply for its celebration of the strength and perseverence of the human spirit and for its account of a woman coming to terms with herself and a family coming to terms with itself."-- "American Annals of the Deaf"

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