The Shape of Sound
by Fiona Murphy
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Pub Date 12 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 31 May 2022
Text Publishing, Text Publishing Company
The Shape of Sound is a lyrical and profound memoir from the acclaimed deaf poet, Fiona Murphy, about her life spent hiding from deafness and her eventual emergence into an extraordinary community and culture.
"I devoured this in a day, fascinated, enlightened, moved."—Helen Garner, author of This House of Grief
Blending memoir with observations on the healthcare industry, The Shape of Sound is a story about the corrosive power of secrets, stigma and shame, and how deaf experiences and disability are shaped by economics, social policy, medicine and societal expectations.
Fearing the ramifications of exposure, Fiona kept her Deafness a secret for over twenty-five years. Desperate to hold onto a career she’d worked hard to pursue, she tried hearing aids but was shocked by how the world sounded. She vowed never to use them again. After an accident to her hand, she discovered that sign language could change her life, and that Deaf culture could be part of her identity. Just as Fiona thought she was beginning to truly accept her body, she was diagnosed with a rare condition that causes the bones of the ears to harden. She was steadily losing her residual hearing. The news left her reeling.
This memoir about Deafness and invisible illness is a revelation.
‘I devoured this in a day, fascinated, enlightened, moved.’—Helen Garner
‘Powerfully written—books like this restore the world.’—Sarah Krasnostein, author of The Trauma Cleaner
‘This book is an act of resistance. In her raw and unflinchingly honest memoir, Murphy tells the story of how she overcame shame and secrecy to claim her Deaf identity. An outstanding work and a must read.’—Jax Jacki Brown, disability activist and writer
‘Beautifully written, honest and heartfelt, this is the book I needed years ago, when I was grappling with my own sense of self as a disabled person. As a musician, I was enthralled by how Fiona experiences music, and I marvelled in Fiona’s journey to true self-acceptance.’—Eliza Hull, musician, writer and disability advocate
‘“Deaf people feel and see sound: the entire body becomes a receptor,” Fiona Murphy writes in The Shape of Sound. You will feel and see this book. Every page vibrates with poetry and shines with brilliance. Murphy’s gorgeous prose is a doorway to a new world – and we readers are lucky to have her as a guide.’—Sarah Sentilles, author of Draw Your Weapons
Available on NetGalley
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