Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa

This book follows the journey of Jeff Swiller as a Peace
Corp volunteer in the village of Mununga in Zambia. Swiller
is legally deaf and has learned to use hearing aids. But
this puts him in a difficult situation- he doesn't fit in
with the hearing community, nor with the deaf community.
When Swiller goes to Mununga, he believes that this is
finally a place where his hearing ability doesn't matter.
But Mununga also has the harsh realities of life. Swiller
witnesses sickness, death, disease, a mob, and a violent bus
crash. He finds good friends, but also makes some enemies.
In the end, his Peace Corp trip will change the way Swiller
views the world and himself.

This book is not a larger-than-life story about how one
man made the world a better place. Rather, it is a honest
memoir about real life. It is not a cheerful book, but it is
something that will make an impression. The book deals with
many different issues, including issues faced by deaf people
in America and around the world, issues about understanding
different cultures and places, and issues about life and
death. The book is very detailed, and in some cases I
thought the details were excessive. This is definitely not a
book to read for a happy bedtime story, but don't let that
put you off - it is definitely a book worth reading,
especially if you are interested in learning more about the
world.

bad language, sex

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Urbana, Illinois USA
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7

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