Thursday, May 07, 2009

book review: MEAN Little deaf Queer, A memoir by Terry Galloway

I saw this title just now over on LibraryThing as one of the review items available for May and was fascinated by the words as juxtaposed.

“You don´t have to be mean, little, deaf, or queer to take heart from this miraculously unsentimental, deliriously funny, refreshingly spite-free, joyously weirdo-embracing memoir. All you have to be is human. Like Augusten Burroughs, Frank McCourt, and Mary Karr, Terry Galloway has written a memoir that transcends its hilarious particularities to achieve the universality of true art.”

Sarah Bird, author of How Perfect is That and The Mommy Club

More praise

Running with Scissors meets The Liar's Club in this edgy and wickedly hilarious memoir about one irrepressible, mean, little, deaf queer

When Terry Galloway was born on Halloween, no one knew that an experimental antibiotic given to her mother had wreaked havoc on her fetal nervous system. After her family moved from Berlin Germany, to Austin, Texas, hers became a deafening, hallucinatory childhood where everything, including her own body, changed for the worse. But those unwelcome changes awoke in this particular child a dark, defiant humor that fueled her lifelong obsessions with language, duplicity, and performance.

As a ten-year-old self-proclaimed “child freak,” she acted out her fury at her boxy hearing aids and Coke-bottle glasses by faking her own drowning at a camp for crippled children. Ever since that first real-life performance, Galloway has used theater and performance, whether onstage or off, to defy and transcend her reality. With disarming candor, Terry writes about her mental breakdown, her queer identity, and living in a silent, quirky world populated by unforgettable characters. What could have been a bitter litany of complaint is instead an unexpectedly hilarious and affecting take on life.


Prologue: Nine

Part I: Drowning

Them and Me


Presto Change-o


The Performance of Drowning
Listen to it; MP3, 67 MB)

Lost Boy

Part II: Passing

Little-d Deaf

On Being Told No

Passing Strange

Drag Acts


Jobs for the Deaf

The Shallow End

Part III: Emerging


Who Died and What Killed Them

Why I Should Matter

Epilogue: A Happy Life . . .


MEAN Little deaf Queer: A memoir by Terry Galloway

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