Seeing Voices Paperback – 6 Feb 2009
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"This book will shake your preconceptions about the deaf, about language and about thought... Sacks [is] one of the finest and most thoughtful writers of our time." --"Los Angeles Times Book Review" "Fascinating and richly rewarding... Sacks is a profoundly wise observer." --"The Plain Dealer ""One cannot read more than a few pages of Sacks without seeing something in a new way. His breadth of understanding and expression seems limitless." --"Kansas City Star ""A remarkable book, penetrating, subtle, persuasive... [It] will likely become a classic." --"St. Louis Post-Dispatch"
By the author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a HatSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Having read Oliver Sacks' book, I now have a much greater understanding of how intensely proud deaf people are of their culture. The book describes much of the history of the deaf communities' language and struggle for identity. It reads like a history of a nation struggling for recognition of its rich culture and language. The book also gives many insights into deafness and its causes too, and describes sign language as a fully formed language (or languages!), as rich as any spoken form, but with a quality quite different. It becomes quite clear in the book that deaf people don't necessarily consider themselves 'ill' or 'disabled', but have a human condition which is simply different. This is perhaps why the uncle of the deaf girl in the documentary was upset by his brother's actions---it might be perceived as a kind of prejudice.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is simply interested other cultures, or perhaps just curious about a different human experience which can't be fully imagined if one is not deaf, but still some understanding and appreciation might be gained.
As ever, this Oliver Sacks book is easy to read, like his other popular accounts, and he is not just a passive observer but has many personal tales of his contacts with deaf people, their views and his relationships with them.
It has its faults; three sections are rather bolted together but the information is clear, there are many interesting side notes that seem to take up about half the book and Sacks has found a real empathy with the deaf without losing objectivity.
My only real criticism is one that the author can't do much about. It was written in the 80s and while it is still very stimulating and thought provoking I now want to know how the situation of the (American) Deaf has progressed in the last quarter century and I'm not sure where to find out yet.
My own interest is that I live in rural Northern Uganda and I come across pre and post lingually deaf folk who have no real way of communicating. Their awareness of the world and ability to think are severely restricted but education in Uganda Sign Language is available if only the connections and parental will can be engaged. So I am seeing the 'native' state of the deaf: isolated, vulnerable, sometimes abused. Its like Europe a few hundred years back.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Few people really understand Deaf culture and the Deaf Community. They think they do but unless you identify yourself as Deaf (with a capital 'D'), I don't believe you really do. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Andrea
Seeing Voices’ describes with scientific accuracy and deep reflection the unique, extraordinarily multi-dimensional and inventive world of the deaf. Read morePublished 15 months ago by The Searcher
excellent book, easy to read, very well written, highly recommendedPublished 24 months ago by a r taranath
Oliver Sacks wrote this book in 1989. In his preface he writes that three years before he "knew nothing of the situation of the deaf". Read morePublished on 20 Sept. 2013 by B. T. Denvir
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