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What's That Pig Outdoors?: A Memoir of Deafness
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What's That Pig Outdoors?: A Memoir of Deafness

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  119 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Henry Kisor, a veteran journalist, twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, lost his hearing at age three. He recounts the story of his life as a deaf person in a hearing culture in this engaging memoir, which offers a fascinating perspective on both worlds. "A first-rate memoir, notable for its candor, charm, and sensitivity".--The Boston Globe. "Henry Kisor's book may wel ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 1st 1991 by Penguin Books (first published May 23rd 1990)
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Community Reviews

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I found a kindred soul in Kisor through this witty and pleasantly well-written memoir. Though I'm not deaf, I am significantly hearing impaired (50%). And like Kisor, I was diagnosed at a young age. Many of his experiences of participating in the hearing world as a hearing-challenged individual mirror my own.

I am astonished and inspired that Kisor was a newspaperman despite the fact that he doesn't have any residual hearing and he lipreads. (Like me, Kisor doesn't use or even know American Sign
I'd not read an autobiography of a deaf individual before, and I found his perspective to be interesting, as it is one I have no frame of reference or relevant experience to compare it to. Specifically, when I previously thought about deaf people communicating in the hearing world, it was primarily through sign language or closed captioning. Kisor however, relies almost entirely through lipreading and speaking regular conversational English, and knows absolutely no sign language, nor does he car ...more
This book was recommended by a deaf friend. I found it to be an interesting and enlightening read. Henry Kisor lost his hearing at the age of three as a result of a bout with meningitis. He was blessed to have parents who were ahead of their time in terms of dealing with his disability. Rather than institutionalizing him, they chose to mainstream him, before the term became popular. He has lived his life in the "hearing" world, which has been somewhat of a double edged sword. To some degree, he ...more
Henry Kisor had 3-1/2 years of immersion in spoken language before he became deaf due to a childhood bout of meningitis/encephalitis. This occurred during the mid-1940s -- still the boom of oralism in deaf education -- and he was home-taught using a method that introduced reading first. (Oralism also includes lip-reading/speechreading and drills for pronunciation and speaking.) His hearing parents were diligent in the instruction, Henry was a bright kid, and the memoir is an account of his chall ...more
Kisor is a journalist who is deaf but can speak. The first part of the book, which describes his childhood and his schooling, interested me, particularly because it outlines the controversies around the "best" way to teach non-hearing children. Kisor's mother was a bit of a pioneer and a very strong advocate and home schooled him using a curriculum developed by a lone teacher of the deaf who had no credentials and was scorned by the educational establishment. Kisor ended up being far beyond his ...more
A very amusing account of deafness.
Oct 15, 2009 Pamela rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: deaf
Nice memoir of life as a deaf kid and deaf man in the hearing world. I really appreciated his insights into what it's like to be deaf, as well as his views on the Deaf Community. Since I have a son who is hard-oh-hearing, this gave me a glimpse of some of the challenges he runs into. Very entertaining, not an iota of self pity. Kisor's attitude is yes, I have a challenge, now what can I do to live with it comfortably?
This is a charming, endearing book. I read it when I was young and it did a good job of personalizing disability.

Although the story outlines the trials and tribulations of deafness, it also shown that life has the same rhythyms for all people. It was heartening to see how the subject dealt with many issus with humor.

I still remember how hard I laughed when I read the section explaining the title.
This is an interesting memoir of a man born with hearing who lost that facility as a child due to a bout of meningitis. Kisor is a competent rather than a compelling writer, and this book feels a bit plodding at times. However, he does evince a dry wit and self-deprecating humor that keeps things light and readable. If living with deafness is a subject that interests you, this is a very nice read.
Like the author, I am deaf and grew up in the hearing world. I wish my parents were still alive as I have questions to ask them about my listening & speech therapy and English training. I understand that the author added more to the book, updating it since he last wrote it. I will have to check it out.
Oct 15, 2008 Anne rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
This book is a memior of a deaf man who only reads lip/talks (doesn't sign) who became a journalist in Chicago. It's very well written, but the second half was less interesting than the first half about his childhood.
Apr 04, 2010 Lori rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: deaf
This is the best funniest book about being deaf. I can relate to his life experiences being deaf and lip reading/speech skill and I laughed so much as I read this book. It is a keeper on my shelf.
Liked the title & grabbed it off a display at the library. Autobiography of a successful journalist who is also deaf. Very interesting and readable.
Such an odd subject for a book to center around and to make it a funny book. The author did a great job of it. Enjoyed all .
A debt of gratitude to a teaching colleague of mine for recommending this book about deafness written by a noted journalist.
Hank Kisor has had an experience of deafness that closely
parallels my own.
Meryl Evans
I can relate to Kisor's experiences as a deaf person and writer.
good portrayal of other half of deafness-oral deaf
Great book!
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“Blindness is a handicap of mobility, deafness one of communication. Terrible as is loss of vision, it does not distance the blind from the sighted the way loss of hearing separates the deaf from the normal.” 0 likes
“Even for a child, the major component of lipreading is guesswork. It’s often said that only 30 to 40 percent of lipreading is actual “reading” of each word; the rest is “context guessing” to fill in the gaps between the words that are actually understood.” 0 likes
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