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Extended Audio Sample Deafening: A Novel Audiobook, by Frances Itani Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,320 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Frances Itani Narrator: Lorraine Hamelin Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2004 ISBN: 9781597101912
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Set on the eve of the Great War, Deafening is a novel of remarkable virtuosity and power spanning two continents and the life and loves of a young deaf woman in Canada named Grania O'Neill. As a result of a childhood illness, Grania's is a world without sound, a world bounded by a powerful family love that tries to insulate her from undue suffering. When it becomes clear that Grania can no longer thrive in the world of the hearing, her family sends her to live at the Ontario School for the Deaf where, protected from the often unforgiving hearing world outside, she learns sign language and speech. Then she meets Jim Lloyd, a hearing man, and the two, in wonderment, begin to create a new emotional vocabulary that encompasses both sound and silence. But as history would have it, Jim must leave home only two weeks after their wedding to serve as a stretcher-bearer on the blood-soaked battlefields of Flanders. During this long and brutal war of attrition, Jim and Grania are pulled to the center of cataclysmic events that will alter civilization forever. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Winner of the 2004 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book: Canada and the Caribbean

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathryne | 2/10/2014

    " I loved this book and would recommend it to everyone! It hit home for me not only because I am Canadian and could picture the scenes, seasons and people perfectly; but also because of the relationship Grania had with her grandmother. This was very well-written - it could have been a grand love story but it was so much more. I loved the choices and the paradoxes that Francis wrote with. I need to read more from her. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mara Shaw | 2/3/2014

    " Frances Itani came to our bookclub when we were discussing this. She was lovely. One of our bookclub members had been raised by a deaf mom, so she had a lot of insight into the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane Mueller | 2/2/2014

    " Set in WWI Canada about a young girl growing up deaf in a hearing family, and marrying a hearing man who goes off to fight in WWI. I felt the book tried to cover way to much and by doing only skimmed over most of what could be a great book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 1/31/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. Very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary G. | 1/31/2014

    " A very good to excellent story of World War I. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amie | 1/27/2014

    " This book was very, very good. I can not believe I had it sitting on my shelf for two years! I wonder what other gems are hidden there?! :-) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 1/25/2014

    " Wonderful, beautifully written novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Danna | 1/23/2014

    " I quickly fell to skimming the pages after the first couple of chapters; in the end, I didn't feel as though I missed anything by doing so. I can't say I disliked Itani's writing style, it felt very tranquil like walking through a gallery of Seurat paintings, but everything in the story felt the same at the end as it did in the beginning; not enough detail to sustain my attention for an entire novel. I kept thinking, "I'd enjoy her writing much more in short-story form; in a full length novel it goes from tranquil to simply boring." It turns out that she has won awards for her short stories and features for CBC radio, and is also a poet. That's probably why her first novel seems sparse. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hannah | 1/23/2014

    " I liked this book, however it felt like it was split into two halfs. Firstly dealing with a child growing up deaf, then morphing into the first world war. The parts didnt connect very well but I liked it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 1/14/2014

    " It's been a long time since I've been disappointed when a book came to its end... This is one of those books. I was so absorbed by the story that when it ended, I was left wishing it was longer because I wasn't ready to let go of the characters and their stories. I highly recommend this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 1/3/2014

    " Very engaging story about a child who loses her hearing due to a bout with scarlet fever at age 5 around the turn of the last century in Canada. Highly recommend. Gave my copy to a friend. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lioness | 1/1/2014

    " A Young girl becomes deaf from Scarlet fever. Years later, in the trenches of France in WWI, her young, hearing, husband is also deafened. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 TangledYarn | 10/28/2013

    " Boring. Stopped halfway through and gave it away. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 7/12/2013

    " I really liked this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alexis | 3/22/2013

    " This book was well-written, but I did not care for the subject matter at all. I wanted to skip the sections about the war, and just read the fascinating sections on language, sign language and how deaf people create their world. I'm not saying this is a bad book; it just didn't satisfy me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dawn | 12/3/2012

    " A wonderful story about a young deaf girl. It makes you understand a little better how deaf people navigate in the world. She grows up and meets a guy who becomes a medic in the 1st world war. Then you get a glimpse of what it was like in the war on the front lines. Wonderful book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Claire | 7/5/2012

    " Half about going deaf and half the story of small town Ontario during WWII. Ok, but if you have something else to read I'd pass. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roberto | 12/29/2011

    " A serene book about what is about to be deaf ...in more ways than one. I liked especially the insights about how is to live in a silent world but this novel tells also about the horrors and injustices of war. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kristen Ringman | 11/20/2011

    " This book sucked. Do not read this book to learn about deaf culture AT ALL! Completely unrealistic. And boring as hell. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alison | 11/1/2011

    " I had to recommend this book to all my friends - something I don't often do. A fabulous read and one you won't regret. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 4/4/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book. Very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 3/12/2011

    " Aside from the numerous sections that seem to repeat on themselves the story is very well done, the charcters are heartwarming and well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bethany | 3/8/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book. It gave me an entirely new perspectives on language and deafness. I found myself mulling over topics in this book frequently. One of the better books I have read in a while. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patti | 2/25/2011

    " I am loving this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alison | 2/14/2011

    " I had to recommend this book to all my friends - something I don't often do. A fabulous read and one you won't regret. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 1/25/2011

    " I really enjoyed reading this book. It was interesting to see life from the perspective of a deaf person. I really felt like I was living it with her. I'd recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thayer | 1/10/2011

    " This book was slow for me in the beginning, yet interesting, but I thoroughly enjoyed the second half of it. Insights into the world of deaf people and war that I've never heard or read before. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hannah | 12/11/2010

    " I liked this book, however it felt like it was split into two halfs. Firstly dealing with a child growing up deaf, then morphing into the first world war. The parts didnt connect very well but I liked it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 12/1/2010

    " Neat look into the life of a girl born deaf, and is the only one in her town. Goes through childhood, schooling, and beyond, very good read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Josette | 11/11/2010

    " Loved it - a really beautiful book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamar | 8/9/2010

    " I really liked this book except for near the end when Grania almost died. I thought that was a little too much and it just made me mad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 8/3/2010

    " A very good to excellent story of World War I. "

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About the Author
Author Frances Itani

Frances Itani is the author of four acclaimed short story collections and has written stories, drama, and features for CBC Radio. She divides her time between Ottawa, Canada, and Geneva, Switzerland. Deafening is her American debut.