Frances Itani Deafening

ISBN 13: 9780002005395

Deafening

3.78 avg rating
( 3,074 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780002005395: Deafening

Born on the shores of Lake Ontario, Grania O'Neill suffers a childhood illness that destroys her hearing. Grania's life without sound is also a life bounded by a powerful family love that tries to protect her from suffering. But when it becomes clear that Grania can no longer thrive among the hearing, her family sends her to the Ontario School for the Deaf. There, protected from the often unforgiving world outside, she learns sign language and speech. And there she meets Jim Lloyd, a hearing man, and the two, in wonderment, begin to create a new emotional vocabulary that encompasses both sound and silence.

But a war is raging on the other side of the world. Only two weeks after their wedding, Jim must leave home to serve as a stretcher-bearer on the blood-soaked battlefields of Flanders. During this long and brutal war of attrition, Jim and Grania are pulled to the centre of cataclysmic events that will alter civilisation forever.

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Product Description:

When the deaf Grania O'Neill meets Jim Lloyd - a hearing man - the two create a new emotional vocabulary of sound and silence. Meanwhile, a war is raging on the other side of the world, and Jim and Grania are pulled to the centre of cataclysmic events that will alter civilization.

Review:

'A deaf woman teaching a hearing man to make sounds again is only one of the wonders in this book. Because Itani's command of her material is complete, the story is saved from being another classic wartime romance--a sad tale of lovers separated. It is a testament to the belief that language is stronger than separation, fear, illness, trauma and even death. Itani convinces us that it is what connects us, what makes us human.' - amazon.com

'DEAFENING has a very particular grace and eloquence, and the spareness of the writing beautifully complements the power of the emotions which Frances Itani describes.' - Helen Dunmore

'There's not a single false gesture in Frances Itani's "Deafening." Despite its subjects - war, romance, disability - it's a story of careful, measured emotion, bleached of all sentimentality. The publisher has positioned the novel as a debut in America, but Canadians have been reading Itani for decades, and every page of this story betrays the hands of a mature writer who knows exactly what she's doing.' - Christian Science Monitor

'DEAFENING is a remarkable and absorbing first novel. Itani's writing is clear-headed and sure-handed; her strong characters will not leave you.' - Charles Frazier

'remarkably vivid, unflinching descriptions of his ordeal . . . eloquently expresses Itani's evident, pervasive faith in the unexpected power of story to not only represent life but to enact itself within lives. Her wonderfully felt novel is a timely reminder of war's cost, told from an unexpected perspective.' - Publisher's Weekly

War and deafness are the twin themes of this psychologically rich, impeccably crafted debut novel set during WWI . . . Wonderfully felt novel is a timely reminder of war's cost, told from an unexpected perspective. Forecast: Itani's first novel is reminiscent of Pat Barker's REGENERATION trilogy ( Publishers Weekly)

'This exceptional novel moves from the silence of the deaf to the cacophony of "the front" during World War 1. In between are the hopes and dreams which define our humanity. There are scenes in Deafening which will never be forgotten. From the haunting effects of a childhood disease to the random horrors of war, the uncertainties that become our certainties have seldom been so well explored. A remarkable accomplishment.' - Alistair Macleod, author of NO GREAT MISCHIEF, Winner of the IMPAC Dublin Award 2001.

'This is a psychologically rich, deeply atmospheric and exquisitely told story.' - ( Woman & Home)

'Deafening is a slow and graceful read, richly textured, keenly felt and witnessed and at times almost unbearably moving' - Quill & Quire

'The subtlety of Itani's writing is nothing short of remarkable . . . her voice is pitch perfect . . . Itani is unquestionably a prodigious talent' - ( Toronto Star)

'An impressively daring first novel from Canada immerses us in both the world of the deaf and the world of WWI trench warfare . . . Husband and wife embody Itani's theme; the power and reach of love - love that falters only in the face of the unknowable. Itani never loses control of her tricky material: the result is an artistic triumph' - ( Kirkus Reviews)

'Itani has the power not only to make us see and hear, but to believe' - Hamilton Spectator

'Itani takes a subject that could have been treacly and sentimental but makes it into something admirably understated, touching and restrained. She writes lyrically about the magical, mysterious way that language, intimacy and trust enable a deaf woman to hear the sounds of the sea and of music - and of how cataclysmic historical events can touch, shatter and ultimately strengthen even the most interior life.' - People

Itani's evocation of Grania's world of silence, and the myriad ways we communicate with those we love, is masterly, as is her rendition of hell in the Flanders mud. Despite the dark subject matter, this is a book filled with light. ( Guardian)

'War and deafness are the twin themes of this psychologically rich, impeccably crafted debut novel set during WWI . . . Wonderfully felt novel is a timely reminder of war's cost, told from an unexpected perspective. Forecast: Itani's first novel is reminiscent of Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy' - ( Publishers Weekly)

'An impressively daring first novel from Canada immerses us in both the world of the deaf and the world of WWI trench warfare . . . Husband and wife embody Itani's theme; the power and reach of love - love that falters only in the face of the unknowable. Itani never loses control of her tricky material: the result is an artistic triumph' - Kirkus Reviews

Less a love story than an inventive fusion of a deaf woman's narrative and a soldier's tale, Itani's American debut unfolds with slow, deliberate eloquence and brilliantly described sights and sounds. Jim and Grania pine as wartime separated lovers do, but their story's real strength is their separate, if parallel, struggles to deal with their unforgiving surroundings. Her original treatment of classic wartime romance will make Itani's readers want more. ( Booklist)

'There's not a single false gesture in Frances Itani's "Deafening." Despite its subjects - war, romance, disability - it's a story of careful, measured emotion, bleached of all sentimentality... every page of this story betrays the hands of a mature writer who knows exactly what she's doing' - ( Christian Science Monitor)

'Itani takes a subject that could have been treacly and sentimental but makes it into something admirably understated, touching and restrained. She writes lyrically about the magical, mysterious way that language, intimacy and trust enable a deaf woman to hear the sounds of the sea and of music - and of how cataclysmic historical events can touch, shatter and ultimately strengthen even the most interior life.' - ( People)

'A superb novel' - Winnipeg Free Press

'The subtlety of Itani's writing is nothing short of remarkable . . . her voice is pitch perfect . . . Itani is unquestionably a prodigious talent' - Toronto Star

'Some books just demand the adjective "wonderful". This is one of them.' - ( The Times)

"It reminds me of that quiet authority I saw in Cold Mountain. I had the same feeling in the pit of my stomach. It's the sort of book that you read and want to ask the author where she learned all this. . . . She's writing about language from the point of view of a deaf woman and she did something the best I've ever seen done anywhere besides James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. She starts out with a very simplistic, naive youthful point of view and it matures with the character. That is so hard to pull off." - Kaye Gibbons, Atlanta Journal Constitution

'Grand achievement' - Edmonton Journal

'I found this an exquisite novel that gave me some understanding of the isolation and frustration for living in silence and a new respect for language.' - Manly Daily, Australia

'Itani tells an absorbing story . . . Even knowing the war will end, Grania's anguish and anxiety of waiting is so fully in the moment that I grieved along with her . . . Not a moment rings false. This is a beautiful book.' - Historical Novels Review

'Itani's evocation of Grania's world of silence, and the myriad ways we communicate with those we love, is masterly, as is her rendition of hell in the Flanders mud. Despite the dark subject matter, this is a book filled with light.' Guardian

'The book is a meditation on silence and communication, where the alienation and confusion of war become metaphors for the way in which language can be a minefield for the deaf. In a world filled with sound, Grania's story is a stirring reminder that human engagement occurs on various levels.' Literary Review

'Exceptional novel . . . a remarkable accomplishment' Alistair Macleod, author of NO GREAT MISCHIEF

'the success of Deafening can't be pinned down to just one quality. Itani's beautiful sentences catch the eye immediately, but the years of research behind the book reveal themselves over the course of the pages.' - Edmonton Journal ( Edmonton Journal)

'A moving, beautifully descriptive book' - Choice

'A gorgeously moving, old-fashioned novel.' - O, The Oprah Magazine

'Itani's lean, absorbing prose recreates the different kinds of cocoons enfolding her characters. . . . This mesmerizing and quietly remarkable novel captures a young couple bound by a private language of fingers on lips and thoughts unvoiced and unutterable across the rift of the sea.' - Time Out

'Several profound themes-including the curative power of language, the endurance of faith, and the vital role of storytelling in life, love, and war-are expertly enmeshed in this imaginatively crafted tale.' -Elle

'Like Charles Frazier in his massively popular COLD MOUNTAIN, Itani possesses a graceful command of illuminating detail and epic sensibility. . . . Itani may be attempting grand statements about the cacophonous death machinery of war, but what she really accomplishes is a simple story of a gentle soul struggling to accommodate to the hearing world.' - The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

'Deafening . . . is rich in every way. With exquisite crafting, Itani gives Grania a haunting subtle voice with which to tell her story. . . . It is a story for all time.' - The Sunday Oregonian

If there's only one book you read this year, this has to be it ( Ireland on Sunday)

'Less a love story than an inventive fusion of a deaf woman's narrative and a soldier's tale, Itani's American debut unfolds with slow, deliberate eloquence and brilliantly described sights and sounds. Jim and Grania pine as wartime separated lovers do, but their story's real strength is their separate, if parallel, struggles to deal with their unforgiving surroundings. Her original treatment of classic wartime romance will make Itani's readers want more.' - Booklist

'Itani has the power not only to make us see and hear, but to believe' - ( Hamilton Spectator)

'Deafening is a slow and graceful read, richly textured, keenly felt and witnessed and at times almost unbearably moving' - ( Quill & Quire)

'Deafening is a war romance that is well researched and ... lively' - ( The Age, Australia)

'Some books just demand the adjective "wonderful". This is one of them.' - The Times

'This is a psychologically rich, deeply atmospheric and exquisitely told story.' - Woman & Home

'A tender tale of love against the odds.' - Company

'A lovely novel about a woman's deafness and the horror of war.' - Daily Mirror

'The novel is studded with haunting perceptions of soundlessness.' - Independent

'A moving, beautifully descriptive book, full of unforgettable images.' Choice Magazine

'Itani has created a wonderfully rich, vigorous and vibrant world. It is a read that will appeal to all the senses.' Ireland on Sunday

'Itani never loses control of her tricky material: the result is an artisistic triumph.' Kirkus Reviews ( Kirkus Reviews)

'She's acquired the elusive art of communicating directly with her reader by adopting an unadorned style that is almost Japanese an Zen-like in its suppressed theatricality.' Toronto Globe and Mail ( Toronto Globe and Mail)

'Itani is about the only non-deaf novelist who realises the core of a deaf individual is different than that of simply a person who loses hearing. It is this realisation, and her profound respect for it, that makes Deafening unique and astonishingly different.' The Citizen ( The Citizen)

'Itani's craft and characterisation glue the reader to the page, because her prime interest is the reader's experience.' Toronto Star ( Toronto Star)

'Deafening is rich in every way. Its scope transcends the lives of the characters while bearing witness to the intimate details of their struggles to grasp meaning and share stories ... a story for all time.' The Sunday Oregonian ( The Sunday Oregonian)

'This is a magnificent tale, in both breadth and depth, with its battlefield-eye view of the Great War, and its inside-the-head view of a deaf person. At the very least, it is a moving story of love an d war; but it is much more than that, and deserves to be read.' - Oxford Times

'Perhaps for the first time, we have a fully realized fictional deaf heroine. . . . Deafening is not only a captivating novel, but also a great one.' - Literary Review of Canada

'A moving and memorable first novel. . . . Frances Itani is an artist who understands what to include and what to leave out, when to whisper and when to shout. . . . Utterly absorbing.' - Newsday

This is a moving story of compassion, communication, love and war ( YOU magazine)

The pleasure to be found in Frances Itani's Deafening lies in its unshowy prose a remarkable achievement ( Literary Review)

A lovely novel ( Daily Mirror)

Deafening is not a novel of grand events and actions, but one of small miracles and acts of love. It is the history of a place and its people, ordinary and remarkable at the same time. And, because it is a universal story, Deafening is also the history of a moment in the life of a country and its people. ( David McCullogh)

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Frances Itani
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Book Description Harper Collins, Toronto, 2003. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. First Edition, first printing. Unread, perfect condition. Signed by the author on the title page. Signature only. Jacket protected by archival cover. "An artistic triumph." Kirkus Reviews. ".an affecting and evocative look at those who inhabited a soundless world during the early years of the last century. Grania, a deaf girl growing up in a small Ontario town, is a truly memorable character, and the story of her love for her young soldier husband is brilliantly recounted." Richard B. Wright. "Deafening is a remarkable and absorbing first novel.her strong characters will not leave you." Charles Frazier. Bookseller Inventory # 003651

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