Growing up Hearing in A Deaf World
Inside her family’s apartment, Sidransky knew a warm, secure place. She recalls her earliest memories of seeing words fall from her parents’ hands. She remembers her father entertaining the family endlessly with his stories, and her mother’s story of tying a red ribbon to herself and her infant daughter to know when she needed anything in the night.
Outside the apartment, the cacophonous hearing world greeted Sidransky’s family with stark stares of curiosity as though they were ?freaks.” Always upbeat, her proud father still found it hard to earn a living. When Sidransky started school, she was placed in a class for special needs children until the principal realized that she could hear and speak.
Sidransky portrays her family with deep affection and honesty, and her frank account provides a living narrative of the Deaf experience in pre- and post-World War II America. In Silence has become an invaluable chronicle of a special time and place that will affect all who read it for years to come.
When Sidransky and her mother could not enter a synagogue because they had no tickets, her mother insisted they stand outside to be near God, because God would understand. Sidransky's mother imparted this, as she did with all her wisdom, with her hands. Sidransky's landmark memoir is back in print here, and her descriptions of Deaf life in the 1930s and 1940s in a Bronx and Brooklyn Jewish household are illuminating. Her parents were hard-working, warm and generous, bringing up their children and somehow making ends meet with humor and love. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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