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In 1997, Bella Bathurst began to go deaf. Within a few months, she had lost half her hearing, and the rest was slipping away. She wasn't just missing punchlines, she was missing most of the conversation - and all of the jokes. For the next twelve years deafness shaped her life, until, in 2009, everything changed again. Sound draws on this extraordinary experience, exploring what it is like to lose your hearing and - as Bella eventually did - to get it back, and what that teaches you about listening and silence, music and noise. She investigates the science behind deafness, hearing loss among musicians, soldiers and factory workers, sign language, and what the deaf know about these subjects that the hearing don't.If sight gives us the world, then hearing - or our ability to listen - gives us each other. But, as this engaging and intelligent examination reveals, our relationship with sound is both personal and far, far more complex than we might expect.
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An astonishing personal journey from hearing to deafness and back again helps Bella Bathurst explore what sound, listening and music mean to us

About the Author

Bella Bathurst is a writer and photojournalist. Her books include The Lighthouse Stevensons which won the 1999 Somerset Maugham Award, The Wreckers, which became a BBC Timewatch documentary, and The Bicycle Book, which was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2011.

Reviews

A book to remind us to treasure the gift of sound. -- Laura Freeman * Times * Fascinating ... Bathurst is a restless, curious writer, and she interweaves the story of her own experiences with imaginative research around hearing and sound ... After reading this book, I found myself listening in a richer and more interested way. -- Alice O'Keeffe * Guardian * This is a moving and fascinating book, all about sound and what it means to be human. It has its share of sound and fury, and benefits from a journalist's ability to listen. Many people with hearing loss, and more without, would benefit from hearing its message. -- Katy Guest * FT * A hymn to the faculty of hearing ... written with passion and intelligence ... a brave and important work -- Rupert Christiansen * Literary Review * An empathetic, sensitive look at how a physical loss can transform both the way you understand the world and how you live in it. -- Charlotte Heathcote * Sunday Express * An engaging blend of memoir, biography and history * Woman and Home * Fascinating and illuminating ... an eminently readable tour through the world of hearing loss that deserves a wide readership. -- Liz Thomson * The Arts Desk * Bathurst paints a vivid picture ... By writing this heartfelt book, she has helped to alleviate the sense of isolation (suffered by the deafened). -- Ysenda Maxtone Graham * Country Life * A poignant exploration ... terrific -- Helen Brown * Daily Telegraph * Praise for Bella Bathurst: 'Bella Bathurst has built a lamp herself: it illuminates the work of a literary hero, a family business, a habit of mind and a Scottish period ... from the summit of this first terrific book she looks to become one of the best biographers of her generation' -- Andrew O'Hagan * The Times *

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