Michael's Reviews > My Father's Notebook: A Novel of Iran

My Father's Notebook by Kader Abdolah
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's review
Jun 22, 2009

really liked it

The novel presents a very inspiring and beautiful tale of a Deaf man's journey during his country's (Iran) transformation into modern nation. Although very beautiful, it also shows the similarities of how the pre-modern Iran, like the rest of the world, view the Deaf. They share the same angle -- being "deaf" is a disability. The word "deaf-mute" is used many times in the novel, referred to Aga Akbar as person who cannot speak or even hear.

But the perspective is absolutely wrong! Aga is not a "deaf-mute," because he has voice! The word "mute" refers to the absence of sound, but Aga can make sound. In spite of being unable to speak properly or clearly, he has a voice. He's not a mute!

He is "deaf" or "Deaf." The two mentioned words may be used depends on what the context is. Lower case "d" refers to being unable to hear sounds, while the capitalized "D" refers to people with their own language and culture (e.g. capitalized "I" for Iranians, "F" for Filipinos, etc.). But for me, Aga is "Deaf" because he has own language and culture and despite the fact that he can't hear, he has unique talents and obviously not a disabled -- but as a normal individual.

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