WHAT'S THAT PIG OUTDOORS?: A Memoir of Deafness by Kisor Henry
Kirkus Star

WHAT'S THAT PIG OUTDOORS?: A Memoir of Deafness

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Often moving, frequently hilarious, and always revealing reminiscences of the book editor of the Chicago Sun-Times. Kisor has been deaf since age three, when a bout of meningitis robbed him of his hearing. Almost immediately, his parents discovered the writings of an unconventional teacher of the deaf, Doris Irene Mirrieless, and set about putting her theories into practice. As a result, today Kisor is able to speak (though he admits to a rather breathy delivery that takes a bit of getting used to). He has worked as a copy editor and reporter, has taught college courses, is married and the father of two sons--and here captures in very human terms just what it means to be deaf in a hearing world. He describes, for instance, the difficulties of lip-reading (the incident that provided the title of his book in an amusing example). He also speaks of the divisions within the deaf community between those who espouse the ""oral"" approach and the proponents of ""signing."" His reflections on the 1988 uprising at Gallaudet Univ., in which the deaf student body demanded the appointment of a deaf president, are sensitive and evenhanded. And his descriptions of recent technological advances that will benefit the deaf are heartening. Written with immense insight and engaging honesty--he admits to a struggle with alcoholism that threatened his marriage--Kisor's memoir will expand hearing readers' awareness of the problems faced and the progress achieved by America's deaf community. Walker Percy, whose daughter is also totally deaf, contributes a moving Foreword.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1990
Publisher: Hill & Wang/Farrar, Straus & Giroux