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01.08.2011


Comments: 20.000 words/1.48 hour. I half listened, half read this. Although I’d have rather read it all since I felt the reading was too fast to properly comprehend. It won both the Hugo and Nebula and I’m not surprised. It’s exquisite. The narrator is a 47-year-old man who decides to travel the country when yet another economic crisis leaves him unemployed. He visits a number of communes in New Mexico but the one he stays longer at is a consequence of a bout of Rubella that ended in 5000 deaf-blind babies being born in the same year in the USA. Lots of these children were also brain damaged, and lots more were basically abandoned in nursing homes and never taught any language, therefore leaving them unable to interact with the world. But a number of them end up in a special school with specialized teachers who teach them braille and other useful stuff. When they are old enough some leave the school to join the real world, leave with parents and such but many don’t have anywhere to go or don’t want to go where they can. Instead, a young woman has an idea and figures out the way to make it real. Thus the commune is born. Now, communes aren’t anything, what makes TpoV fascinating is the community and the languages these community speaks, not just with their hands but with their whole bodies and maybe even more than that. The narrator decides to stay and feels accepted, with time he learns more and more of the subtleties of the Touch language, but the more he learns the more crippled he feels by his lack of disability. In fact, the only people who feel disabled there are the ones that are abled (the narrator and the children of the original rubella-foetuses, who can all see and hear).

QUOTE:

* But in the course of pursuing the question I became aware that each of the members of the commune had no specific name at all. That is, Pink, for instance, had no less than one hundred and fifteen names, one from each of the commune members. Each was a contextual name that told the story of Pink's relationship to a particular person.

[quotes], [quotes] book, 2011, book-2011, 2011: short-story in English, +family, +bonding, +social issues, #cuento/short-story, *author: male, @read in English, #audiobook, +disability, +bisexuality, +gender, +feminism, #science fiction

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