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Train Go Sorry: Inside a Deaf World

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  776 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
This portrait of New York's Lafayette School for the Deaf is not just a work of journalism. It is also a memoir, since Leah Hager Cohen grew up on the school's campus and her father is its superintendent. As a hearing person raised among the deaf, Cohen appreciates both the intimate textures of that silent world and the gulf that separates it from our own.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 25th 1995 by Vintage (first published January 1st 1994)
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Train Go Sorry by Leah Hager CohenThe Story of My Life by Helen KellerDeafening by Frances ItaniBurn Down the Ground by Kambri CrewsHands of My Father by Myron Uhlberg
Deafness
1st out of 62 books — 17 voters
Maybe Someday by Colleen HooverArcher's Voice by Mia SheridanTall, Tatted and Tempting by Tammy FalknerThe Dry by Rebecca NolenThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Blind/Deaf/Mute
82nd out of 308 books — 257 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,952)
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Unwisely
Jan 24, 2011 Unwisely rated it really liked it
This title is slightly misleading; it's mostly the story of students at a school for the deaf in New York City. It manages to do an excellent job of discussing various conflicting factions and attitudes that swirl around education of the deaf without taking sides or demonizing any one group. Due to a a childhood friend who was deaf, I have a long-standing personal interest in deaf issues, and this book really helped me locate her in the context of what was going on politically at the time (a con ...more
Gaile
Oct 11, 2010 Gaile rated it it was amazing
Although this is old hat to me, the arguments in this book rang true all through my life. This is about the Lexington School For The Deaf in New York City and how it had to change with the years and needs of incoming deaf students. The war between ASL and the oral method is well documented in this book. In the present day, deaf students are coming from sub cultures and immigrants from the middle east and Russia. Mainstreaming is now the new oral method.There is also the debate on the Cochlear im ...more
Judy
Oct 06, 2010 Judy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
I had this book on my shelf for several years before finally getting around to reading it. For me, it is such a joy when an author can make a non-fiction book compelling enough to me that I read all the way through it, just as engrossed as if it were a novel. This book definitely fit that description. The story of the Lexington School, the students and staff, is really fascinating. As much as a person disconnected from the deaf community can, I feel that I gained some understanding of the trials ...more
Paige
Jun 05, 2013 Paige rated it it was ok
This book...kind of annoyed me. Leah Hager Cohen is a decent writer, but she doesn't have a strong story to tell here. Or she does--at least, I believe there's several good stories to tell--but she doesn't actually do that to my satisfaction.

This subtitle of this book is "Inside a Deaf World." Wrong. The author is hearing herself, which may not have presented too much of a problem if she had had more focus, but to me the book came off as very "me me me me me." We hear about how badly Cohen wante
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Brad McKenna
Apr 05, 2015 Brad McKenna rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoire
The story of a hearing gal who's father (also hearing) is head master of the Lexington School for the Deaf. His own father was deaf and so the Cohen family is in a unique position as Deaf Culture blossoms in the 60s. For so long deaf people were forced to learn how to talk and read lips, hearing aids were forced on them whether or not the person actually had enough hearing to amplify. ASL was thought to be too primitive a language to be useful. All that changes though and this story traces a lot ...more
bookczuk
Oh man! I finished this book and forgot to journal on it. That's really frustrating, especially since only one of the things I wanted to say made it into notes. (The only one that did was "Saw there was a story on NPR this morning about Cochlear Implants Redefine What It Means To Be Deaf. http://www.npr.org/2012/04/08/1502458)

Being the daughter of a severely hearing impaired woman, and a woman who has hearing issues herself, I was very interested in reading this book. the historical bits were wh
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Maggie
Jan 14, 2012 Maggie rated it really liked it
Rating 4.5. These days, one of the reasons I read is to learn. I hope that whether the book is fiction or non-fiction it will give me insight into something I'm ignorant of. This book definitely delivered.

Using a school in New York, which the author has a connection to, and the faces of staff, students, and her own education within the deaf community, Leah Cohen helped educate me about the challenges, education, medical aids, politics, and triumphs of the deaf.

This book was always interesting,
...more
Westcoast_girl
Aug 16, 2013 Westcoast_girl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those with Deaf relatives, friends, and family, Hearies new to Deaf culture
This book is an excellent book for hearing people wanting to learn more about Deaf culture. Unlike other books on Deaf culture, this book is written by a hearing woman with hearing parents. However, she is intimately involved with Deaf people and their culture as a grandchild of a Deaf couple, an friend of many Deaf people, a past and present interpreter, and a past hearing resident of Lexington School for the Deaf.

The book can be read chronologically and all at once, or chapter by chapter, int
...more
Michael
Nov 04, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it
A thoughtful and periodically very moving book exploring the students of an all-deaf high school in New York, written by the (hearing) granddaughter of one of its founding students and daughter of the current principal. I was very interested for awhile in deaf politics, with a deaf grandmother and other deaf relatives, so I found both the personal stories and the broader cultural overview interesting. Cohen explores the issues around oralism versus signed communication, relations with the hearin ...more
Kate
I really like Cohen's writing style, even though the narrative was totally disjointed. I don't know that she went "inside a deaf world" so much as provided vignettes of a particular deaf place. They were beautiful vignettes though; I was also very interested in her musings on being a hearing person in Deaf places. Her father had gained respect and acceptance despite being hearing by being a native signer with Deaf parents, while she was both hearing and a non-native signer which put her even fur ...more
RyanE. Erisman
Nov 06, 2015 RyanE. Erisman rated it it was ok
I chose "Train Go Sorry" by Leah Hager Cohen, because I thought the perspective was interesting and made the book unique.
"Train Go Sorry" is about the author's life in lexington school for the deaf, however the author is not deaf. Leah Cohen's parents are the administrators and live above the school. Through out the story we hear about the other deaf children with every new chapter. The book truly lives up to its title, I feel fully immersed and actually "inside a deaf world".
Like I mentioned b
...more
Jenna
Nov 29, 2010 Jenna rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2010
Highly recommended for anyone who has an interest in nonfiction, Deaf culture, or cultures in general. Train Go Sorry was a requirement for my ASL I class, and while I never would've picked it up on my own, I really enjoyed reading it.
Mary
Nov 11, 2014 Mary rated it liked it
I liked the book, but constantly switching the focus to different character made it hard to really get into. Overall, I think the book did a good job portraying deaf culture and the difficulty deaf people face. I also really liked the portrayal of hearing people. In a lot of the literature I've read about deaf cultural/people the hearing people come off looking like either just awful people or well-meaning but ignorant idiots. I think this book did a good job of showing both the hearing and deaf ...more
Anja
May 17, 2008 Anja rated it really liked it
I chose this book for my Road Less Traveled project because it is informative and opinionated. Leah Hager Cohen grew up in a deaf world, though she and her family were hearing. That is similar to my growing up partially in a deaf community, CODA (Child of Deaf Adult) is what my offical title would be.

This book offers great insight into the life and struggles of the teen-aged deaf attending Lexington High School. She followed the stories of James and Sofia as well as her own life story. She tell
...more
Robbins Library
A close look at a world many of us are unfamiliar with. Cohen takes a journalistic view at deaf culture, but also a personal one. She includes stories about her deaf grandparents, and also two more recent students of the Lexington School for the Deaf. It was the stories of these two students that I found most compelling, as we got the inside view on their family lives - which were separate from their lives at school - and their aspirations for the future.
Pam
May 09, 2013 Pam rated it really liked it
Train So Sorry: Inside a Deaf World is a great book which provides incredible insight on being deaf and the deaf community. As a hearing person, Leah Hager Cohen is in an unique position to write this book as the grand-daughter of a deaf couple, daughter of the principal and later superintendant of a deaf school, and having grown up living in the deaf school's residence hall. The most significant part of this book is Cohen's presentation of the political issues in the deaf community, the underst ...more
Violet
Apr 09, 2013 Violet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I would have liked to give this book a higher star rating but this book left to many unanswered questions for me. The book did nake clear about how people felt about ASL and mainstreming. It did give a good history of the School, but I would have liked to know what happened to James, Sofia, and Iria. James gradutates, Sofia gets her bar mitzvah, boom the end, couldn't the author put a note or something at the end of the book saying how they did after the book. Even the author leaves you hanging, ...more
Samantha
Mar 25, 2011 Samantha rated it liked it
As someone with a deaf family member, this book was very interesting. My niece is lucky enough to grow up in a time when she has so many options available to her as a deaf child. As a hearing person within a deaf community, the author occasionally struggles to combine her two worlds. This book clearly outlines the controversy within the deaf community, of learning ASL to mainstreaming to cochlear implants. I really enjoyed being able to get an insider's look at my niece's world, and to be able t ...more
Roni
Oct 06, 2011 Roni rated it really liked it
This book is based on struggling between Deaf and hearing students, staff, and administrators, ASL/Manual Coded English and oralism, institutions and mainstreaming schools, and Deaf culture and hearing family culture. It takes place in New York City - the Lexington School for the Deaf in Queens. It spans between 1970's and 1990's to see how much changes take place in characters' life and school. It is good introduction for anyone who wants to take a glimpse of what issues are going on in Deaf co ...more
Jhani
Dec 11, 2012 Jhani rated it it was ok
It's hard to read a book that is so particular to something you're familiar with (in this case, deaf culture), and know how the average layperson would actually respond to it. I didn't think this book was particularly thrilling but I did think that it accurately portrayed the missed connections between the deaf and hearing worlds. Most people don't realize just how much being deaf can affect a person - it does not just come down to not being able to hear. I would love to recommend this book to a ...more
Amy
Dec 12, 2015 Amy rated it liked it
Not the type of book where you say it was a great read or exciting but it was interesting and thought-provoking. As one who is desperately trying to learn ASL it made me think about learning and why I want to. Of course, this was written 20 years ago and a new generation of deaf children have grown up. Technology is very different. I wonder how the book would have been written today.
Iamshadow
Aug 26, 2008 Iamshadow rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marisa
May 20, 2015 Marisa rated it it was amazing
Vry interesting and informative about the deaf & the current challenges
Emily
May 22, 2013 Emily rated it liked it
This book documents the Deaf community in transition in the early 90's. DPN sent shock waves around the world and through social justice movements. The passage of ADA required more resources to be provided to deaf services. ASL gained institutional recognition as a full language. And the intersectional concerns of Jewish immigrant Sofia and African-American James as they graduate high school in this moment are appropriately noted.

This article follows up with some of the people and places in the
...more
Emily
Jan 20, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it
A great look into the more recent history of deaf culture, centering around the Lexington School for the Deaf in New York. The author, a GODA (grandchild of deaf adults), collected stories from her own life, as well as several of Lexington's students. Through her above average knowledge of the deaf community she is able to infiltrate the culture and act as a literary interpreter for the hearing audience. The stories she gathered are astounding, and act as a reminder of the missed connections, so ...more
K.A. Erickson
Aug 06, 2013 K.A. Erickson rated it it was amazing
This is first rate nonfiction, journalistic-style anthropology into deaf culture. I felt fully immersed in the deaf community as I read about the lives of deaf boys and girls, deaf immigrants and poor Americans, and professionals working on deaf political issues. Leah Cohen lets the reader into her life, as well, like the best writers do. I found myself pausing periodically at her word choice, as well--which I do not tend to do--and marveling at her use of language. Solid book, gorgeously writte ...more
Linda
May 22, 2014 Linda rated it liked it
My review is here
Ellyn
Feb 13, 2009 Ellyn rated it liked it
Shelves: 2007
The author (who is hearing but had grandparents who were deaf and grew up at a school for the deaf) alternates her family's story with the story of two deaf teenagers, Sofia and James. The book explores deaf culture and discusses a variety of controversial issues, including mainstreaming, oral language vs. sign language, and cochlear implants. A little slow moving at times, but it was an intriguing window into a culture that I knew little about.
Danielle
Aug 23, 2007 Danielle rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'd heard about this book before, but it seemed particularly appropriate to pick it up now, since CSUN has a large deaf student population. So far, so good.

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Final assessment: I really liked it - and felt like I gained some insight into the deaf community (I mean, not an expert or anything, but some basic courtesies to use when dealing with deaf folks). Plus the stories of the historical treatment of deaf folks just about broke my heart.
Kristen Akers
Mar 11, 2014 Kristen Akers rated it liked it
I enjoyed the stories, but the writing style was distracting for me. I felt like something was desperately missing in terms of joining the big picture together. Overall a good book, but I was hoping for more depth.
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Leah Hager Cohen has written four non-fiction books, including Train Go Sorry and Glass, Paper, Beans, and four novels, including House Lights and The Grief of Others.

She serves as the Jenks Chair in Contemporary American Letters at the College of the Holy Cross, and teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Lesley University. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Tim
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“Like storytelling, that incessant loving rush of explaining and repositioning and telling again, all for the sake of finding something shared, something mutually recognized -- so interpreting seemed to me. It seemed a kind of goodness.” 4 likes
“The involuntary poetry of one who is not fluent in the language.” 2 likes
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