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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'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
Souverän verknüpft Itani [...] ihre verschiedenen Textarten, die geschriebenen und die ungeschriebenen Briefe von Jim, die Innenwelt und die Außenwelt von Grania mit Erzählstimmen und dokumentarischen Fakten. Sie hat mit Betäubend aus der Kraft, Würde, Autonomie und Eigenart lautlosen Lebens ein literarisches Kunstwerk geschaffen: eine leidenschaftliche Botschaft von jenseits und diesseits der Stille. (Frankfurter Rundschau)
Itanis Stärke [...] liegt in der sensiblen, gleichsam lautlosen und doch sprachphilosophisch und neurologisch unterfütterten Einfühlung in eine dunkle Welt, in der Kinder und Frauen doppelt benachteiligt sind. In diesen Passagen öffnet der Roman dem Leser bislang verschlossene, buchstäblich unerhörte Räume, die seine "normalen" Erfahrungen, Werte und Begriffe nachhaltig zu erschüttern vermögen. Das Fehlen eines Sinnes, gesellschaftlich und individuell als Handicap empfunden, ist in der Literatur manchmal auch ein Gewinn. (Martin Halter, FAZ)
'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
'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
'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
'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.
'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
'Deafening is a slow and graceful read, richly textured, keenly felt and witnessed and at times almost unbearably moving' - Quill & Quire
'Impressively daring . . . an artistic triumph' - Kirkus Reviews
'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
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 is a psychologically rich, deeply atmospheric and exquisitely told story.' - Woman & Home
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
'A superb novel' - Winnipeg Free Press
'Grand achievement' - Edmonton Journal
"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
'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
'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
'The subtlety of Itani's writing is nothing short of remarkable . . . her voice is pitch perfect . . . Itani is unquestionably a prodigious talent' - Toronto Star
Set on the eve of the Great War, a first novel of remarkable virtuosity and power for anyone who loved ATONEMENT, BIRDSONG or the REGENERATION Trilogy.
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Book Description Harper Collins Publishers. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0002005395
Book Description Phyllis Bruce Books, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0002005395
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
Book Description Phyllis Bruce Books, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-198-59-1004001
Book Description HarperFlamingoCanada, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2005395