Monday, February 01, 2010

The Next Book

The book club is back. The book chosen is 'Deafening' by Frances Itani. I had not heard of this book until I asked readers of 'Rolling Around in My Head' to suggest books with characters with disabilities. One of my readers (I'm sorry, I don't remember who made the suggestion - leave a comment and take credit) suggested this book. What I did was take the suggestions and make a list of them. I then clipped them off a piece of paper and put them in a bowl and pulled out a book.

I was very wary of this as, for the book club, I have only put forward books that I had read and felt had something to offer up for discussion. But I have come to really trust my readers here and thought I'd like to give that decision over to a combination of a suggested choice and a chance draw. I did this several days ago. I nervously went over to the book store and bought the book. What if I hated it? But then, so what ... it's a book club - people will have differing opinions.

It was then decided in my mind that we'd go with this book. I was going to wait until the announcement to start reading the book. But then I finished 'Duty to the Dead' and 'The Incident Report' and this was next on the stack. What the heck, I thought, and picked it up.

I'm about half way through and I'm loving the book. The writer has such keen talent and manages to discuss deafness and sound and society with a dexterous touch. One moment in the book, right now, stands out. In my lectures I often asked a rhetorical question about the institutionalization of disabled children, 'What must it have felt like to have the institution doors close behind you and to stand alone facing your future?' Itani answers that question with a simple and profound simile. I never take pen to page in a book but I had to mark that page so I could go back to it. It was just so, right.

So, to join just sign up in the comments section. Then read the book and on the day either comment here or write a blog about the book and link in the comments for us to go and visit. We've been fortunate to have authors drop by a couple of times. If anyone (who knows) has a contact for Frances Itani, I'd love to ask her to join us. If not, I may have a guest blogger uniquely qualified to lead this discussion - but that's not yet known.

The book club will be held either the end of April or the first week of May. Please join in. It is a way to support author's who thoughtfully discuss disability through their writing. It is a way to discuss with each other the issues of disability. It is a way to broaden our experience of disability. It is ... after all ... a good thing.


Unknown said...

I bought this book some time ago and it has been sitting on my shelf, always on my "soon" list but I still haven't read it. Thanks for the nudge to finally pick it up!

theknapper said...


Belinda said...

I am most definitely "IN!" I will get hold of the book asap. I love reading a book with others. It adds to the pleasure of a book to discuss it and learn communally.

Sharing insights with the Vita staff in the book club last month, was a joy.

Anonymous said...

I read this book a couple of years ago. My parents were both profoundly deaf and grew up a bit later than the time period of this book and my mother not too far from where the story takes place so it felt like a very personal story to me and an insight into their lives growing up. I will be joining in for sure. Liz

Heather said...

I haven't got it. Haven't read it but have just joined the library so hope they'll have it.

I love book club because I get to read books that are outside of my normal range.

There's a word for that but I can't think of it!

Anonymous said...

Just went online and got the book. I'm looking forward to both reading it and to the day the bookclub comments are posted. Thanks for this - you expand my horizons.

Jannalou said...

I found it in our public library catalog and have requested it. I should be able to pick it up later this week. So, I'm in!

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

I confess - I suggested Deafening. And I am thrilled that it as a book club selection.

I read it some time ago and really liked it.

Cound me in for the book club

Anonymous said...

Just ordered two copies--one for me and one for my grad asst. Thanks for the suggestion!

Karen in So Dak

Susan said...

I'm in! Wouldn't miss it...

Anonymous said...

I plan to join the club!!!
I'm sure I'll learn lots.

looking forward to sharing with you all.


Jannalou said...

I went out and got it from the library almost immediately; just finished it yesterday. I'll be blogging it shortly at my books blog, but I'll leave a link to my review in the comments here when the day comes around. :)