The Shape of Sound (Paperback)
The Shape of Sound is a lyrical and profound memoir from the acclaimed deaf poet, Fiona Murphy, about her life spent hiding from deafness and her eventual emergence into an extraordinary community and culture.
I devoured this in a day, fascinated, enlightened, moved.--Helen Garner, author of This House of Grief
Blending memoir with observations on the healthcare industry, The Shape of Sound is a story about the corrosive power of secrets, stigma and shame, and how deaf experiences and disability are shaped by economics, social policy, medicine and societal expectations.
Fearing the ramifications of exposure, Fiona kept her Deafness a secret for over twenty-five years. Desperate to hold onto a career she'd worked hard to pursue, she tried hearing aids but was shocked by how the world sounded. She vowed never to use them again. After an accident to her hand, she discovered that sign language could change her life, and that Deaf culture could be part of her identity. Just as Fiona thought she was beginning to truly accept her body, she was diagnosed with a rare condition that causes the bones of the ears to harden. She was steadily losing her residual hearing. The news left her reeling.
This memoir about Deafness and invisible illness is a revelation.
About the Author
Fiona Murphy is a Deaf poet and essayist. In 2019, she was awarded the Overland Fair Australia Essay Prize and the Monash Undergraduate Creative Writing Prize. In 2018, she was shortlisted for the Richell Prize.