An astonishing personal journey from hearing to deafness and back again helps Bella Bathurst explore what sound, listening and silence mean to us.
'By the summer of 1998, it had become clear that there was something wrong with my hearing. It didn't happen suddenly but softly, so softly I almost wasn't aware of it happening; sound seemed to have stolen away ...'
For twelve years, Bella Bathurst's life was ruled by her deafness. She missed the punchlines and the jokes, avoided busy restaurants and raucous parties, grew her hair long to cover hearing aids, and retreated into herself. But then, twelve years later, pioneering surgery on her ears gave her the chance to hear again.
Sound is the extraordinary story of Bella's journey into deafness and back to hearing. Mixing memoir with interviews with soldiers, sign language experts, musicians and mental health workers, Bella explores what deafness teaches us about listening and silence, and what the deaf know that the hearing don't.
If sight gives us the world, then hearing - or our ability to listen - gives us each other.
Published in partnership with the Wellcome Collection.
Wellcome Collection is the free museum and library for the incurably curious. It explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. It is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas thrive.
Bella Bathurst is a writer and photojournalist. Her books include The Lighthouse Stevensons which won the 1999 Somerset Maugham Award, The Wreckers, which became a BBC Timewatch documentary, and The Bicycle Book, which was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2011.
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