The Deaf House is Joanne Weber’s life story. It highlights the work and passions of a woman who grew up deaf and became an advocate for the deaf. It is a story of pain, loss and defeat balanced with joy, gain, and victory. It is the true story of a deaf woman as much as it is the fable of a heroic quest where a woman overcomes the most profound obstacles to find herself.
The author shows how deafness can be a brutal oppression of the mind as well as one of sound. Her torment of not knowing exactly where she should belong, or when to halt her destructive pride, is revealed with blunt honesty. After much internal turmoil, Joanne realized that her inherent identity was that of a Deaf individual and The Deaf House details her struggles that resulted from fiercely attempting to protect and uphold that identity.
Weber combines the narrative tools of a novelist with a keen documentarian perspective to effectively provide the reader with rare insight and profound truths about the lives of the deaf. Her narrative is incredibly engaging and elicits quite an unexpected and profound emotional response. It is a powerful story of an indomitable woman’s clearance of incredible obstacles to uncover her true self. As much as it is a story of struggle, it is also one of the importance of love, compromise, and how even the most fiercely independent among us sometimes need the understanding and support of those we love.
Shortlisted for the 2014 Saskatchewan Book Awards for Non-Fiction Book of the Year and the City of Regina Award