Hands of My Father

Hands of My Father

A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents, and the Language of Love

Book - 2009
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By turns heart-tugging and hilarious, Myron Uhlberg's memoir tells the story of growing up as the hearing son of deaf parents--and his life in a world that he found unaccountably beautiful, even as he longed to escape it.

"Does sound have rhythm?" my father asked. "Does it rise and fall like the ocean? Does it come and go like the wind?"

Such were the kinds of questions that Myron Uhlberg's deaf father asked him from earliest childhood, in his eternal quest to decipher, and to understand, the elusive nature of sound. Quite a challenge for a young boy, and one of many he would face.

Uhlberg's first language was American Sign Language, the first sign he learned: "I love you." But his second language was spoken English--and no sooner did he learn it than he was called upon to act as his father's ears and mouth in the stores and streets of the neighborhood beyond their silent apartment in Brooklyn.

Resentful as he sometimes was of the heavy burdens heaped on his small shoulders, he nonetheless adored his parents, who passed on to him their own passionate engagement with life. These two remarkable people married and had children at the absolute bottom of the Great Depression--an expression of extraordinary optimism, and typical of the joy and resilience they were able to summon at even the darkest of times.

From the beaches of Coney Island to Ebbets Field, where he watches his father's hero Jackie Robinson play ball, from the branch library above the local Chinese restaurant where the odor of chow mein rose from the pages of the books he devoured to the hospital ward where he visits his polio-afflicted friend, this is a memoir filled with stories about growing up not just as the child of two deaf people but as a book-loving, mischief-making, tree-climbing kid during the remarkably eventful period that spanned the Depression, the War, and the early fifties.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2009, c2008.
ISBN: 9780553806885
Characteristics: xvii, 232 p. :,ill., ports. ;,22 cm.


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Apr 21, 2013

touches, cleanses and leaves the reader richer

Mar 29, 2012

What a great story. A great storyteller telling a remarkable story.

Apr 12, 2011

Absolutely amazing memories recorded of growing up in a deaf household. So heart warming at times so crushing and sad at others. A great read!

Jul 09, 2010

After flipping through the book and seeing 4 curse words in two adjacent paragraphs, I was disgusted, and will be taking it back ASAP.

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Jul 09, 2010

email_becs thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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Jul 09, 2010

Coarse Language: 4 curse words in 2 adjacent paragraphs, and that was just what I saw when merely flipping through the book.....


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