Seeing Voices Reprint Edition, Kindle Edition
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"Fascinating and richly rewarding… Sacks is a profoundly wise observer." —The Plain Dealer
"One cannot read more than a few pages of Sacks without seeing something in a new way. His breadth of understanding and expression seems limitless." —Kansas City Star
"A remarkable book, penetrating, subtle, persuasive… [It] will likely become a classic." —St. Louis Post-Dispatch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B00CNQ2NRC
- Publisher : Vintage; Reprint edition (May 29, 2013)
- Publication date : May 29, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 2202 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 242 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #370,291 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Oliver Sacks begins with an examination of how deafness--and sign language--affects the cognitive and linguistic development of deaf children. Through Oliver Sacks, we meet the language-less Joseph, the inhibited deaf schoolchildren, and the vivacious and precocious Charlotte. It becomes increasingly clear was we read that it is not deafness per se to blame for some deaf people's linguistic deficiencies, it is the inadequacy of some deaf children's linguistic environment. He makes a strong case for ASL as a legitimate--vivid, even--resource for deaf children. (All of this was something I already knew, interacting with many Deaf people, but it was great to have someone confirm it!)
This book, however, is called "A Journey into the Deaf World," but its exploration of cultural issues is quite lacking. I can't blame Sacks for this, as he's a neurologist, not a sociologist. His outsider account of the historic Deaf President Now protests at Gallaudet is definitely worth a read. Sack's writing skill gives us a taste of what it was like to be there. Yet, that's where his insights on Deaf culture ends. As an outsider, it's difficult for Sacks to really capture the feel and vibrancy of the culture that he cannot participate in, being a non-signer.
This book was written 25 years ago, so its cultural perspective is especially outdated (not its linguistic ones, however). In 1990, there were no pediatric cochlear implants. There was no mainstreaming policy. DPN is now a very old victory.
This is an excellent book on language acquisition issues facing deaf children and ASL, but simply outdated for the issues facing Deaf culture.
Although I agree with some other reviewers that the footnotes are tedious to read (my edition has them at the back of the book so there was a lot of flipping), it is, as always, an easily readable and informative text on the subject. I love how Sacks, through this and all his books, focuses on how people adapt to their "disabilities" even though they are seen as less than normal in our culture at large and makes you realize that they are not disabled, but differently abled, capable of everything "normal" people are.
While this book is dated, Oliver Sacks shares very valuable experiences by deaf people. He reviews some of the personal struggles of the deaf, their historic treatment by hearing people, some history of sign language, and the development of Deaf culture. It is helpful that Oliver Sacks starts initially from his own ignorance. He walks us through well researched insights, and he brilliantly lights our understanding of human thinking that comes from language development.
Top reviews from other countries
It has its faults; three sections are rather bolted together but the information is clear, there are many interesting side notes that seem to take up about half the book and Sacks has found a real empathy with the deaf without losing objectivity.
My only real criticism is one that the author can't do much about. It was written in the 80s and while it is still very stimulating and thought provoking I now want to know how the situation of the (American) Deaf has progressed in the last quarter century and I'm not sure where to find out yet.
My own interest is that I live in rural Northern Uganda and I come across pre and post lingually deaf folk who have no real way of communicating. Their awareness of the world and ability to think are severely restricted but education in Uganda Sign Language is available if only the connections and parental will can be engaged. So I am seeing the 'native' state of the deaf: isolated, vulnerable, sometimes abused. Its like Europe a few hundred years back.