Book - 2003
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Deaf since she was five years old, Grania has learned that watching is not always enough to survive in the world of the hearing. She has learned that words can often be impossible to see, their shape disappearing into a place where she cannot decipher their skittery ways. Sent to the Ontario School for the Deaf in Belleville, Grania must learn to live away from her loving family, lonely for the company of her sister and the secret language they shared. When Grania falls in love with Jim, a young hearing man from the east coast, her life seems complete, but the First World War soon tears them apart and sweeps him into the worst of experiences--trench warfare. At the Western Front, Jim is tested to his limit as he and his buddy Irish--both stretcher bearers--retrieve the shattered bodies of their comrades.

Fueled by tremendous word-of-mouth excitement at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Deafening has already become an international publishing phenomenon, with rights sold in over 12 countries so far. Author Frances Itani, the source of this unprecedented attention for a debut novel, has steadily been gaining a stellar reputation for her short fiction collections, her most recent, Leaning, Leaning Over Water, receiving ecstatic reviews. Touted as "writer to watch," Itani has lived up to her accolades with Deafening.

Her depiction of a world where sound exists only in the margins is a singular feat in literary fiction, a place difficult to leave and even harder to forget. Elegantly written, with grace and precision, Deafening is, above all, a deeply moving journey through the strands of strength and vulnerability that weave heart and spirit together.

Publisher: Toronto, Ont. : HarperFlamingo Canada, c2003
ISBN: 9780002005395
Characteristics: xiv, 378 pages ;,24 cm.


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WVMLStaffPicks Jan 05, 2015

This memorable story moves between the silence of a deaf woman’s small town Ontario existence to the deafening noise of the Western Front where her fiancé and brother-in-law are thrown into the horror of World War I. Although both men return home to their young wives, the outcomes are bitter sweet.

Aug 03, 2012

An excellent novel about how the Great War affected small towns in rural Ontario. We follow the journey of Jim (Chim) as a Red Cross stretcher bearer throughout the war all the while his deaf wife, Grania tries to make it at home.

nadian Dec 31, 2011

A rare and heartfelt insight into a young girl's world without sound, the mental, emotional, and physical fatigue of war, and an altered life when soldiers return home. Breaking from the traditional representations of soldiers in action, the novel follows a medic and his journey instead. It is a wonderful, Canadian tale that explores an aspect of war life that is never considered.

samdog123 Apr 21, 2011

An excellent book that tells the story of Grania, a deaf child in the early 1900's. With the help of her family, specifically her Grandmother Mamo, she learns how to cope in a hearing world, marries and deals with the absence of her husband during the war. A very moving story and one I really enjoyed.

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Apr 28, 2011

eparti thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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