Outcasts and Angels The New Anthology of Deaf Characters in Literature, Edna Edith Sayers, Editor
From the publisher:
In 1976, Trent Batson and Eugene Bergman released their classic
Angels and Outcasts: An
Anthology of Deaf Characters in Literature. In it, they featured works
from the 19th and 20th centuries by well-known authors such as Charles Dickens
and Eudora Welty. They also presented less-well-known deaf authors, and they
prefaced each excerpt with remarks on context, societal perceptions, and the
dignity due to deaf people. Since then, much has transpired, turning around the
literary criticism regarding portrayals of deaf people in print. Edna Edith
Sayers reflects these changes in her new collection Outcasts and Angels: The
New Anthology of Deaf Characters in Literature.
Sayers mines the same literary vein as the first volume with rich new results.
Her anthology also introduces rare works by early masters such as Daniel Defoe.
She includes three new deaf authors, Charlotte Elizabeth, Howard T. Hofsteater,
and Douglas Bullard, who offer compelling evidence of the attitudes toward deaf
people current in their eras. In search of commonalities and comparisons, Sayers
reveals that the defining elements of deaf literary characters are fluid and
subtly different beyond the predominant dueling stereotypes of preternaturally
spiritual beings and thuggish troglodytes.
Outcasts and Angels demonstrates these subtle variations in writings by
Ambrose Bierce, Isak Dinesen, Nadine Gordimer, and Flannery O’Connor. Stories by
Juozas Grušas, Julian Barnes, and many other international authors broaden the
scope of this updated inquiry into the deaf literary character. Sayers’ preface
and closing essay bring any disparate parts together, completing Outcasts and
Angels as a fitting, contemporary companion to the original classic
Edna Edith Sayers is former Professor of English at
Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.
ISBN 978-1-56368-539-2, 1-56368-539-6, 7 x 10 paperback, 368 pages, references
ISBN 978-1-56368-540-8, 1-56368-540-X