Soundtrack of Silence
Love, Loss, and a Playlist for Life
by Matt Hay
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Pub Date 09 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 23 Jan 2024
An inspiring memoir of a young man who discovered he was going completely deaf just at the moment he’d fallen in love for the first time.
As a child, Matt Hay didn’t know his hearing wasn’t the way everyone else processed sound—because of the workarounds he did to ﬁt in, even the school nurse didn’t catch his condition at the annual hearing and vision checks. But by the time he was a prospective college student and couldn’t pass the entrance requirements for West Point, Hay’s condition, generated by a tumor, was unavoidable: his hearing was going, and fast.
A personal soundtrack was Hay’s determined compensation for his condition. As a typical Midwestern kid growing up in the 1980s whose life events were pegged to pop music, Hay planned to commit his favorite songs to memory. He prepared a mental playlist of the bands he loved and created a way to tap into his most resonant memories. And the track he needed to cement most clearly? The one he and his new girlfriend, Nora—the love of his life—listened to in the car on their ﬁrst date.
Made vivid with references to instantly recognizable songs—from the Eagles to Elton John, Bob Marley to Bing Crosby, U2 to Peter Frampton—Soundtrack of Silence asks readers to run the soundtrack of their own lives through their minds. It’s an involving memoir of loss and disability, and, ultimately, a both unique and universal love story.