Monday, June 8, 2009

Keep Reading...

Reading Terry Galloway's Mean Little deaf Queer kind of reminded me of the many long evenings I spent as a child listening to the adults in my extended family joyfully telling and re-telling stories about their shared experiences, experiences that I imagined most families tried their best to forget. As the many positive reviews note, Galloway's memoir is "funny as hell" (Dorothy Allison), "gripping" (Doug Wright), and "joyously weirdo-embracing" (Sarah Bird). And, of course, it's also worth noting that Terry Galloway happens to be the younger sister of our very own (though recently retired) Gail Galloway Adams.

So, what's Mean Little deaf Queer about?

From the Amazon book description: "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—onstage and off—to defy and transcend her reality. With disarming candor, Terry writes about her mental breakdowns, her queer identity, and her life 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."

Alison Bechdel predicts, and I agree, that Terry Galloway's Mean Little deaf Queer "will fascinate, it will hurt, and you will like it." it. Now.

1 comment:

  1. Just finished Terry's memoir, and second the recommendation. It's a wonderful book, interesting for all sorts of reasons (not least, to me, were the descriptions of actual performance moments).

    And a bonus fact: Immediately after appearing here at WVU, Robert McRuer could be found with Terry in Florida...small world...