About the Author
Jaipreet Virdi is assistant professor of history at the University of Delaware. This is her first book. Find her on Twitter at @jaivirdi or visit her website www.jaivirdi.com.
"Engaging . . . A sweeping chronology of human deafness fortified with the author’s personal struggles and triumphs."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Part memoir, part historical monograph, Virdi’s Hearing Happiness breaks the mold for academic press publications."
— Publishers Weekly
“In her insightful book, Virdi probes how society perceives deafness and challenges the idea that a disability is a deficit. . . . [she] powerfully demonstrates how cures for deafness pressure individuals to change, to ‘be better’.”
— Washington Post
"Informative and engaging."
— Ms. Magazine
“Poetically weaving her own experiences as a deaf person into a history of hearing loss, Virdi makes a compelling argument that deafness is as much a cultural construct as it is a physical phenomenon. Rigorously researched and eminently readable, Hearing Happiness is packed with historical gems that will fascinate any reader.”
— Lindsey Fitzharris, author of 'The Butchering Art'
“Everyone needs to read this fascinating history of hearing loss, technology, medicine, and audism. In examining deafness cures and sharing her own personal story, Virdi reveals society’s ever-evolving processes in creating and enforcing normalcy.”
— Alice Wong, founder and director of Disability Visibility
"I always love reading books by deaf authors who grew up mainstream like me. If you want to learn about mainstreamed deaf people and the medical mysteries of deafness and its history, read this book! Virdi shares lots of fascinating information that I never knew before."
— Rikki Poynter, Youtuber and deaf activist
“Hearing Happiness is smart, captivating, and immensely important. We can only grow as a society when we listen to the people we’ve placed on the fringes of it. Deaf people don’t need cures—they deserve respect and support. If you want to be a person on the front lines of necessary change, start with this book!”
— Keah Brown, creator of #DisabledAndCute and author of The Pretty One
“Told with clarity and compassion, Virdi’s moving story will resonate with any reader seeking to understand what it truly is like to be deaf in the US."
— Cäsar Jacobson, activist, author, and actor
“Hearing Happiness provides so much surprising and interesting historical information, as well as many answers about audism, the history of technology, and our perception of hearing loss. Virdi’s personal story is moving, and her research takes us on all kinds of trips back in time. Fascinating.”
— Ilya Kaminsky, author of 2019 National Book Award finalist Deaf Republic
“Virdi has written a landmark study in the history of technology: one that shows in powerfully specific and deeply personal ways how technologies construct social norms and mold the way we live. Her nuanced account of the history of technologies designed to ‘cure’ the way that certain people experience the world is a powerful testament to the need for people from marginalized groups to have a seat at the table when technological fixes are proffered by tech corporations and the medical establishment.”
— Mar Hicks, author of 'Programmed Inequality'