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  • The Hearing Test

Penninsula Press

The Hearing Test

by Eliza Barry Callahan.

  • £10.99
  • Available
  • Paperback published on 25/04/2024
  • Page count: 176 pages
  • ISBN: 1913512460
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Quick take

A young woman reorients her relationship to the world in the wake of sudden deafness in this mesmerizing debut novel for readers of Rachel Cusk, Clarice Lispector, and Fleur Jaeggy. 


When the narrator of The Hearing Test, an artist in her late twenties, awakens one morning to a deep drone in her right ear, she is diagnosed with Sudden Deafness, but is offered no explanation for its cause. As the spectre of total deafness looms, she keeps a record of her year – a score of estrangement and enchantment, of luck and loneliness, of the chance occurrences to which she becomes attuned – while living alone in a New York City studio apartment with her dog. Through a series of fleeting and often humorous encounters – with neighbours, an ex-lover, doctors, strangers, family members, faraway friends, and with the lives and works of artists, filmmakers, musicians, and philosophers – making meaning becomes a form of consolation and curiosity, a form of survival. At once a rumination on silence and a novel on seeing, The Hearing Test is a work of vitalizing intellect and playfulness which marks the arrival of a major new literary writer with a rare command of form, compression, and intent.

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