Deafening

Paperback | July 30, 2004

byFrances Itani

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ELEGANTLY WRITTEN and profoundly moving, Frances Itani’s debut novel is a tale of virtuosity and power. Set on the eve of the Great War, Deafening spans two continents and the lives of a young deaf woman and her beloved husband. Frances Itani’s astonishing depiction of a world where sound exists only in the margins is a singular feat in literary fiction, a place difficult to leave and even harder to forget. With the simultaneous publication of Poached Egg on Toast, Itani’s new short story collection, this is the perfect time for the trade paperback edition of Deafening.

PREVIOUS EDITION: 0-00-200539-5

PRAISE FOR DEAFENING
“Itani has entered a league inhabited by few Canadians beyond Margaret Atwood.” Ottawa Citizen

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From the Publisher

ELEGANTLY WRITTEN and profoundly moving, Frances Itani’s debut novel is a tale of virtuosity and power. Set on the eve of the Great War, Deafening spans two continents and the lives of a young deaf woman and her beloved husband. Frances Itani’s astonishing depiction of a world where sound exists only in the margins is a singular feat ...

FRANCES ITANI is the author of Deafening, which won the Commonwealth Writers? Prize for Best Book (Canada and Caribbean Region) and the Drummer General?s Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her short story collection, Poached Egg on Toast, won the Ottawa Book Award and the CAA Jubilee...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1 inPublished:July 30, 2004Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:000639261X

ISBN - 13:9780006392613

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Customer Reviews of Deafening

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gifted Writer This is one of those rare books that makes you feel as if this story has happened to you as the images and feelings it evokes are lasting and real. Frances Itani not only lets you into the world of silence and signing but she also transports you into the muddy battlefields of World War 1. Grania and Jim will be a part of your lives forever.
Date published: 2014-02-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I really liked it. 4.25 stars Grania was left deaf after a bout of scarlet fever when she was 5. She was finally sent to a school for the deaf at 9 years old, and by then was very good at lip reading, and she did speak some. Just before World War I, she met and married her husband, Jim, a hearing man, who went to war two weeks after their wedding to serve as a stretcher bearer (carrying wounded men off the battlefield). I really enjoyed reading about the deaf culture near the beginning of the 20th century. Later in the book, it shifts between Grania's and Jim's perspectives during the war. I found both stories intriguing. I thought Itani did a good job describing the war scenes and I loved Grania and Jim's relationship, as well as Grania's relationships with her grandmother and sister. I really liked this and I don't know why it took me so long to read it.
Date published: 2012-05-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Insightful This story is set is south-eastern Ontario during World War 1 and before. It begins with the sudden deafening of a five year old girl and chronicles the process of learning to communicate. She is taught by her grandmother to speak audibly. She also goes to a school for the deaf to learn sign language and to get an education. While there, she meets her future husband, Jim (whom she calls, Chim), who can hear. They marry and he is sent off to be an ambulance attendant/litter carrier in the war. They correspond over that time. It also follows the course of the war and the things he experienced. It is a little slow at times, but very insightful into the world of the deaf and learning to communicate.
Date published: 2008-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing The type of book you'll want to read in a night, so be prepared. Such an easy read and yet such a 'full' book - rich characthers, several storylines, vivid descriptions. This is one of my all time favourites.
Date published: 2007-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Excellent Read for a Specific Group This book's gentle approach to family dynamics exploring love, self sacrifice, guilt, and conflict is a wonderful read for those who wish to explore relationships. The author's research into the pre WWI era and the War era itself, as well as her research into deafness and deaf education is excellent. Her portrayal of the War from both the frontlines and the homefront was moving, and shared important detail about smells and textures that one would normally never consider, but would have a great impact on the participants. It was a joy to read from beginning to end (I burnt dinner one night because I couldn't put it down.)
Date published: 2006-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating! Reading this book is like taking a journey through the most important traits of life; love, hardships, courage, survival, war, peace, and family. It captures the essence of Canada, with the setting in small town Deseronto. The tasteful melding of historical facts with fiction makes the book captivating and meaningful. Itani has a beautiful gift with prose, and characterization. I felt deeply connected to all characters. It's a book you do not want to end, but you'll pleasantly surprised with the warm feeling it leaves when it is over. I highly recommend this book to any humanists out there! Enjoy.
Date published: 2006-09-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An enjoyable read I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a gentle book although not devoid of conflict. Since I am not actually deaf I cannot vouche for the authenticity of Grania's experiences as a deaf person. I do know that the author, Frances Itani, made me feel like I understood what a young deaf child and later young woman would experience. I felt that the point of view being portrayed was true. Later in the novel the point of view shifted to include a young man (Jim) sent into the midst of World War One. I especially liked how Itani compared Grania's deafness to the feeling of deafness Jim experienced in the cacophony of sound on the battlefield. I enjoyed the way he recites what he has learned from Grania to pull him through the horrors of war. The book is full of recited lists that flow like poetry as they advance the reader's knowledge of characters and setting. I really enjoyed reading this book and heartily recommend it to others who have an interest in historical fiction and/or enjoy a read that stimulates the mind, but does so gently, carrying the reader along instead of shoving.
Date published: 2006-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Revelation I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As the parent of a deaf adult this book helped me to understand him a little better. The author showed that she really does understand the deaf and the world they live in. She showed the trials and tribulations that our deaf community is still going through today. A Wonderful, Revealing book. I would recommend that everyone read it.
Date published: 2003-10-18