One of the reviewers’ reports to my early manuscript commented that while the book is interesting, it lacked my voice. Honestly, I didn’t understand what that meant. The only thing I could think of was to insert my own story alongside that of the deaf people I was writing about, but then I wondered if I was compromising my historical integrity. Would telling my story muddle the objective stance I held as a historian? Would I be overly sympathetic to my research subjects and thus muddle historical facts? Truthfully, this was the hardest part of the book, trying to figure out if I wanted my story told, and then, to find a balance between writing a memoir and lyrical history. Did I want too much of my self revealed in my first book, the book that was going to tell the world who I am?
Alice Wong interviews me for the Disability Visibility Project. We discuss Hearing Happiness, the legacy of cures, the historian’s craft, and the impact of ableism.
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