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Other titles in the Reuben/Rifkin Jewish Women Writers series:
If a Tree Falls: A Family's Quest to Hear and Be Heard (Jewish Women Writers)by Jennifer Rosner
Synopses & Reviews
Jennifer Rosner's revelatory memoir explores family, silence, and what it means to be heard. When her daughters are born deaf, Rosner is stunned. Then she discovers a hidden history of deafness in her family, going back generations to the Jewish enclaves of Eastern Europe. Traveling back in time, she imagines her silent relatives, who showed surprising creativity in dealing with a world that preferred to ignore them.
Rosner shares her journey into the modern world of deafness, and the controversial decisions she and her husband have made about hearing aids, cochlear implants and sign language. An imaginative odyssey, punctuated by memories of being unheard, Rosner's story of her daughters' deafness is at heart a story of whether she — a mother with perfect hearing — will hear her children.
If a Tree Falls is a memoir, a tale of the imagination, a guide for families with special-needs children and adults, and a poignant meditation on life's most unpredictable moments.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Hearing parents battle to do what's best for their deaf children.
Literary Nonfiction. Memoir. Jewish Studies. When Jennifer Amy Rose's firstborn baby fails her postnatal hearing test, Rose is stunned: How will she and her husband, both hearing, raise a deaf child? How will they communicate with a baby who can't hear their voices? Although her mother is hard of hearing, Rose has no real experience with deafness. But then she discovers a hidden history, going back generations to the ghettoes of Eastern Europe and the culture of shame that was attached to the "deaf and dumb." Now the parent of two congenitally deaf children, Rose shares her journey into the modern world of the hearing impaired, and the tough decisions she and her husband have made about hearing aids, cochlear implants, and sign language. She also travels back in time to imagine her silent relatives who had few options but showed surprising creativity in dealing with a world that preferred to ignore them. IF A TREE FALLS is a memoir, a tale of the imagination, a guide for families with special-needs children and adults, and a poignant meditation on life's most unpredictable moments.
About the Author
Jennifer Rosner's writings have appeared in The Massachusetts Review, The Faster Times, Wondertime Magazine, and the Hastings Center Report. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford University and is the editor of The Messy Self. She lives in Massachusetts with her family.
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