Deaf and “Dumb” is a series of shorts taken from a novel that I am currently working on.  In these creative non-fiction pieces, I analyze how my family was affected by the fact that my grandparents on my father’s side are both deaf and mute.  I collect memories relating to this special circumstance from each generation in my family: my grandparents, my father and his siblings, and my cousins and I.  The memories also span the lifetimes of these individuals: for example, deaf people were treated very differently in the fifties compared to now. 

The title of the series is based on the origin of the word "dumb", which originally meant mute.  Deaf and Mute individuals were so ostracized and viewed as stupid that now the word "dumb" is viewed as a synonym of stupid, even though deafness does not cause neurological damage.

Some of these shorts are presented below in no particular order.

 

FRESH MILK

FIRST PARTY

ROCKING CRADLE

STICKY, STICKY LOLLIPOPS

THE HOCKEY ROOM

UNRECOGNIZABLE ACCENT