Reading someone else’s story can be a comforting way to learn and to be inspired for your own hearing loss journey. Hearing loss can feel less lonely when we can see someone walking with us in spirit.
We’re lucky to know several terrific authors who’ve written eloquently and with open hearts about what it was like to lose their hearing, how they overcame barriers, and how they thrive in the world today.
Katherine Bouton, Shouting Won’t Help: Why I—and 50 Million Other Americans—Can’t Hear You
Bouton, a former New York times senior editor, lost her hearing suddenly when she was in her 30s. She shares her grief, her reluctance to tell others about it, and how she eventually received a CI. She also explores the issue of hearing loss more broadly.
Gael Hannan, The Way I Hear It
Hannan writes about her hearing loss from a point of view that’s both hilarious and insightful. She also offers communication tips and advice.
Dr. David Myers, A Quiet World: Living with Hearing Loss
Dr. Myers explains the psychology of hearing loss and also shares his own experiences as a hard-of-hearing person. Dr. Myers is also the founder of the Loop America movement to encourage hearing access.
Shari Eberts & Gael Hannan, Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss (coming soon)
Hannan and Eberts offer a “skills-based approach” to hearing loss that’s focused more on communication. They also talk about their own journeys.
For children with hearing loss…
Stephanie Marrufo, All the Ways I Hear You
Written by the mom of a child with hearing loss and illustrated by a hard-of-hearing artist, this book features a hard-of-hearing narrator named Sy.
Emily Mikoski, Max and His Hearing Aids
Hearing aids can be a huge help to kids. Author Emily Mikoski was inspired by son max’s hearing loss journey to write this uplifting book.
Have you read books about hearing loss that have brought you insight, comfort, or inspiration? Leave us comment below.
Thanks for mentioning me and my book! It’s nice to be in such distinguished company.
Another terrific book for school age kids is El Deafo, by Cece Bell, about a girl who turns her hearing loss (and in particular her FM system) into a powerful and very funny asset with her schoolmates.
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Thanks for the shoutout! This is a super collection of books!
I strongly recommend the 2019 book by David Owen, VOLUME CONTROL: Hearing in a Deafening World. I read it twice, and then decided to buy a copy, so I could dip into it whenever desired! It’s a book for adults, mostly. Owen writes for the New Yorker, where parts of this book first appeared, and many other pubs. You’ll enjoy it!
Mean Little Deaf Queer: A Memoir by Terry Galloway (Beacon Press 2010). She writes about being a kid and lip-reading her teachers — which worked except when they were teaching things like long division and would start facing the class and then turn to face the board as they wrote out the examples. “So,” Terry writes, “I taught myself. Only I taught myself wrong.” That so often describes my experience — I think I’m getting something right — but I’m not. Her understanding that situation has helped me forgive myself and let go of my anger again and again. It’s one of my best tools for surviving serious hearing loss.
I have always felt that children with hearing loss need to see positive examples of themselves in books. Although not a book about hearing loss, my children’s book The Legend of Eddie the Whale shows an example of a saxophone player with cochlear implants entertaining people on the subway, a girl using ASL to tell her mom she loves her at the school bus stop and other examples of diversity. We need to show the world in books what persons with disabilities CAN do and that we are a vital and thriving part of society.