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JOIN/UNJOIN: A Hearing Son's Journey to Find the Deaf Mother He Never Knew

Saturday, November 8, 2014: 1:00 PM
Governorís Square 9 (Sheraton)
Jesse Harris , The University of Texas at San Antonio
This book began as a collection of short stories for an Honors nonfiction writing seminar. What started as a menagerie of essays about my mother’s Deafness, struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction, and eventual battle with end-stage liver disease, slowly grew into a narrative about a hearing son’s search for identity and belonging between two worlds, Deaf and Hearing, each one comfortably foreign. At its core, this narrative is an attempt to collapse disordered binaries: mother and son, hearing and deaf, living and dying, united and estranged. The book’s title, Join-Unjoin, is an American Sign Language translation, or gloss, for the breaking of a relationship.