Loads of bestsellers chronicle the lives of celebrities, politicians, or people who have overcome tragedy. This deeply touching memoir, by contrast, originates from an ordinary man who experienced a very special childhood filled with love. Author Myron Uhlberg tenderly describes his unique life, divided between two worlds: One as the child of two deaf parents, the other a mischievous boyhood typical of many others in Depression-era Brooklyn.
Uhlberg's first language was sign, and he vividly compares expressive sign language to written language:
Sign is a live, contemporaneous, visual-gestural language and consists of hand shapes, hand positioning, facial expressions, and body movements. Simply put, it is for me the most beautiful, immediate, and expressive of languages, because it incorporates the entire human body
..sign was a language of...
Beyond the Book
Sign Language & Deaf Culture
Hundreds of years of evolution have shaped American Sign Language (ASL), today the main sign language for deaf people in the U.S., parts of Canada and Mexico, and many other countries around the world. Derived in part from the personal hand signal repertoires of many deaf individuals, ASL has grown to become a fully functional language, a medium of higher education, and a central part of Deaf culture.
The deaf have always developed their own means of communicating through signals, long before any attempt was made to standardize these into a formal language. Nearly three hundred years ago, a spate of deaf births on Martha's Vineyard gave rise to a unique sign language on the island. One of the earliest attempts to extend beyond...