The second of a two-part memoir
“I was exploring the vastness of deafness and discovering all the things it could be.”
Deafness Gain continues the story of Deafness Down. Believing he would become an accountant like his father, Mike commences a job with the tax office, and a six-year part-time course leading to a Bachelor of Business in Accounting. Again he struggles to comprehend what goes on around him in the new pursuits of employment and a vast soul-less tertiary institute.
Life is transformed when he meets a group of young deaf people. (“This is the new language”) He is now with deaf people, and the intense ease of communication with them dominates his life. Through exploring deafness he reaches out to a world far wider than the expectations of family. Being with deaf people helps him connect with hearing people, some of whom have a very different outlook on life. He fails accountancy, embarks on welfare studies, and moves in with his girlfriend. He quits the tax office and starts work at the Adult Deaf Society of Victoria, and begins to absorb sign language. Mike takes in a five-day workshop on small groups, the only deaf person among 12 hearing people who sit around and talk. In forensic detail the memoir covers Mike’s bitter struggle to take part. But it ends in a powerful and moving climax with the words spoken to Mike by one of the hearing participants.
Paperback and eBook available December 2015