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Hearing Maud: A Journey for a Voice

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Hearing Maud: a Journey for a Voice is a work of creative non-fiction that details the author’s experiences of deafness after losing most of her hearing at age four. It charts how, as she grew up, she was estranged from people and turned to reading and writing for solace, eventually establishing a career as a writer.

Central to her narrative is the story of Maud Praed, the
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Paperback, 271 pages
Published July 2019 by University of Western Australia Publishing
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Cass Moriarty
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Author and academic Jessica White has two published novels but her latest book Hearing Maud (UWA Publishing 2019) is a departure from her previous work, and I believe this will be the book that will elevate her notoriety as a writer to another level. Hearing Maud is a hybrid of intimately personal memoir, meticulously researched history and searing self-analysis that is deeply affecting and will influence the way readers consider deafness. The 15-year period of research and study that Jess has d ...more
Carly Findlay
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Content warning: ableist language and eating disorder

I really enjoyed Hearing Maud by Jessica White. It’s an important work of creative fiction - combining a memoir about Jessica’s life, and an insight into Maud Praed, the deaf daughter of 19th century Queensland expatriate novelist Rosa Praed.

Jessica lost her hearing aged four, and as detailed in the book, she considers herself to be raised as hearing. Her parents sent her to a mainstream school and sent her to audiologists and speech pathologi
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Natasha (jouljet)
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Part memoir, part biography, Jessica has woven her own story as a Deaf child and woman with that of Maud, daughter of Rosa Praed, Australian writer of many books in the 1880s, who through research and chance, Jessica finds incredible parallels.

Both raised to communicate in the hearing world with speech rather than sign, Jessica and Maud navigate the difficulties and challenges of being understood, connecting with others, and the acceptance of their disability. Both experience challenges with co
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Jaclyn Crupi
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was deeply saddened to hear of the planned closure of UWA Publishing. We’re losing a reputable small publisher and access to voices that might not otherwise be published. And we’ll be poorer for it. I’ve wanted to read this since hearing Jessica White speak @wheelercentre. This was such an accomplished and insightful read. I find it troubling to think that without UWA Publishing, books like this might not make their way to me.
Sally Piper
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In this memoir Jessica White, left deaf following meningitis at the age of four, writes beautifully and truthfully about discovering and understanding her deaf self in a world that often fails to accommodate her disability. Parallel to her own story is the fascinating story of Maud Praed, the deaf daughter of 19th century Australian novelist Rosa Praed. This is a scholarly, honest and elegant account of what it is to be deaf in a hearing world.
Fiona Stocker
Good memoirs are about more than just the person writing them. They’re a broader account of things that we can all relate to, sometimes unexpectedly.

‘Hearing Maud’ by Jessica White is her account of growing up deaf in outback Australia, after losing her hearing through a bout of meningitis at age four. Jess was sent to school with the rest of her brothers and sisters and encouraged to continue talking. But hearing loss meant she could never keep up, never really integrate, felt left out of conv
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Lisa
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hearing Maud, a Journey for a Voice is a most interesting hybrid: not quite a memoir, not quite a biography of a mother and her daughter, and not quite a survey of a pioneering Australian female author. It is not quite any of these things, but it is more than the sum of its parts. This is the blurb:
Hearing Maud: a Journey for a Voice is a work of creative non-fiction that details the author’s experiences of deafness after losing most of her hearing at age four. It charts how, as she grew up, she
...more
Belinda Badman
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jessica White was born hearing but due to contracting meningitis when she was 4 was left with just 25% hearing. It was the medicine to treat the infection which resulted in her hearing loss. The author uses this Pharmakon - both poison and cure, as one of the themes in this memoir.

It was an interesting book, written in a style I haven’t come across before - interspersing her intimate, personal, memoir with the memoir of Maud Praed, a deaf woman from the 19th century. Along the way we learn more
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Alison
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yes I left this book for a couple of months. It was the middle bit. I met Jess at a conference and didnt realize she was deaf until she told me. That’s what the book is about. How deaf people are taught to pass as hearing people. And it compares this to Australian writer Rosa Praed’s daughter Maud a hundred years ago, who was institutionalized for most of her life and died in a mental asylum having outlived the rest of her family, just for being deaf. This is a Beautifully written book. I love w ...more
Kali Napier
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww2019
Deeply personal, entwined with Jessica White's discovery of Rosa Praed's writing and her deaf daughter Maud who was raised to 'fit in' with the mainstream, to lipread rather than sign. White finds parallels with her own upbringing and the expectations placed on her, with the result of a profound loneliness and exclusion from social life. I know Jessica in real life, but READING her is really LISTENING to her, and she makes a strong case for the power of words, writing, and the ability to express ...more
Hadley White
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've never read a book like this. Jessica weaves two genres together beautifully; autobiography and academic research. She does so to compare her experiences as a deaf woman growing up in the 1980s with that of Maud Praed in the early 20thC. In doing so she illuminate how a hearing society's attitudes towards deafness shape the lives and happiness of these two women.

Mixing fiction and non-fiction sounds like it should be a car crash of a method, but what Jessica achieves is an engrossing narrati
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Melissa Riley
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very interesting and eye opening book. I thought it would be largely about Maud Praed, but I was pleasantly surprised to read that a good portion of the book described Jessica White's own experiences as a writer. It definitely gives a good perspective on 'invisible' disabilities and the expectations put on theses people, possibly unknowingly, by the rest of the public to be seen as being able to hear. Maud's story is heartbreaking, born deaf and obliged to lip-read instead of learning sign lan ...more
Melanie Page
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was worried that I found Hearing Maud interesting only because I could relate, but by comparing the societies into which Jessica White and Maud must fit, the author brings a disability rights angle to her hybrid book, elevating it into more than me nodding along in recognition.

Check out the entire review at Grab the Lapels.
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Kirsty
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Challenging, intimate, thought-provoking, at times uncomfortable, but ultimately very moving. The kind of memoir I would like to write, if I could convince myself that I was actually worth writing about.
Jessica Hausheer
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Brilliant. I felt that Jess laid out her thoughts and feelings for me and I was there with her. Relatable in some areas for me, and I learnt so much in others. Personal and written so well. I loved it.
Jo Rushby
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am so glad I came across this book. This Author is reminiscent with my early childhood coping as a deaf girl in a mainstream school. Jessica White explores the writer Rosa Praed whose daughter was Deaf. It covers how times have changed from 19th century to today's attitude of Deaf children.
I highly recommend this book.
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Margaret
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Blends research into personal story. Unusual.
Emily Gard
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really interesting and thought provoking.
Kate
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Is it a biography? Is it a memoir? It's both! White recounts her own experience of deafness, in parallel with the fascinating story of Maud Praed, the deaf daughter of 19th century Queensland expatriate novelist Rosa Praed. I enjoyed the format, although the transitions from memoir to biography weren't always seamless. That said, White's descriptions of her own experiences are poetic ("...the clamour of cousins..."), and brutally honest.

I picked up this book on the strength of Lisa and Bill's re
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Cameron
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Jessica White’s own story is an interesting one in its own right; one she tells with great honesty and authenticity. “Hearing Maud“ also carefully unpacks Deaf history and issues, and this makes for great introductory reading for readers who may not be too familiar with the Deaf history or contemporary issues.
Andrea Baldwin
This is a beautiful and unusual book for many reasons. I read it primarily because I was interested in the author's own story of growing up with little hearing. As Jessica outlines, bringing history engagingly to life, the question of whether children in this situation should be taught sign as their first language is several centuries old. White has meticulously researched the life of Maud Praed, daughter of expatriate Queensland novelist Rosa Praed, who grew up in the 1800s with a degree of hea ...more
Laura
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian-work
What a brilliant piece of writing, and a moving exploration of how Jessica White discovered her own disability pride. I'm recommending it to all my friends! ...more
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Jessica White was raised in the country in northwestern NSW and, at age 4, lost most of her hearing from a bout of meningitis. Being a determined little girl, she refused to be daunted by her disability, but instead made her way from a tiny school of 100 pupils to publishing her first novel at age 29, before graduating with a PhD from the University of London.

Jessica’s first novel, A Curious Intim
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Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
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