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Deafening

Author: Itani, Frances Set In . . .
 North America, Canada, Ontario
Genre: Fiction
Time Frame: 1800s
Published: 2003
Description: Deafening is a tale of remarkable virtuosity and power. At the age of five, Grania — the daughter of hardworking hoteliers in small-town Ontario — emerges from a bout of scarlet fever profoundly deaf, and is suddenly sealed off from the world that was just beginning to open for her. Her mother cannot accept her daughter's deafness, so Grania's indefatigable grandmother tries to teach her language from the inside out. But when it becomes clear that Grania can no longer thrive in the world of the hearing, her family sends her to live at the Ontario School for the Deaf where she learns sign language and speech. After graduation Grania stays on to work at the school, and it is there that she meets Jim Lloyd, a hearing man. In wonderment the two begin to create a new emotional vocabulary that encompasses both sound and silence. But two weeks after their wedding, Jim must leave to serve as a stretcher-bearer on the blood-soaked battlefields of Flanders. During the war, Jim and Grania's letters — both real and imagined — attempt to sustain their intimacy, even while they are both pulled into cataclysmic events that will alter the world forever.
  
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