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Praise for A Loss for Words

“A deeply moving, often humorous, and beautiful account of what it means to be the hearing child of profoundly deaf parents, to love and be loved by them, but also to experience almost from infancy the ‘unbridgeable gulf’ between the deaf and the hearing. Much has been written about this hidden gulf, whose existence is unknown to most of us, but I have rarely read anything on the subject more powerful or poignant than this extraordinary personal account.”

— Oliver Sacks

“So profoundly other is the unhearing culture. . .that moving it into a language we learn by hearing took both gifts and a nearly savage determination.”

The New York Times Book Review

“This warmly touching and humorous book is addressed to everyone whohas ever lived in a family, which is to say all of us.”

Durham Morning Herald

“I did not dream there was such an affecting story to be told of a close, loving family in which both parents are deaf. I was thrilled to read Lou Ann Walker’s A Loss for Words, fortunate to find myself engrossed in a work so infused with tenderness, warmth, and humanity.”

— Joseph Heller

“Beautifully written and deeply affecting. . .There is humor in [Walker’s] recollections but nothing lighthearted in accounts of crude or condescending reactions to her father and mother from indifferent people.”

Publisher’s Weekly

“Inside the Walker home. . .life was gentle, loving and quiet. . .So clearly does the author evoke the private, almost other-worldly existence in their home that you can see and feel it, and even hear the cooing sound that rises from her mother’s throat when she hugs her children.”

The Washington Post

“In this remarkable memoir, Walker recreates the pain and the joy of growing up between two worlds: her parents’ loving but silent home, and the often confusing world she encountered outside those walls, and of which she was inevitably a part.”

Seattle Times-Post Intelligencer

“I have never thought hard about this before, but now I see that what deaf people do in sign language is even more mysteriously and specifically, biologically human than speech itself. My respect for the deaf, always high, is now still higher. My awe for the human mind is out of sight.”

— Lewis Thomas

“Readers will come away from this book informed, deeply moved and full of admiration for Walker’s marvelous parents.”


“A generous, compassionate book.”

Chicago Sun-Times Book Week

“A candid, gently affecting book.”

Detroit Free Press

“This is a book that genuinely draws upon our feelings, not by underlining the differences and the separations between people but by revealing the common need for contact and understanding.”

Pittsburgh Press

Copyright 2024 Lou Ann Walker. All rights reserved.