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A Loss for Words By Lou Ann Walker

The book entitled, A Loss for Words, by Lou Ann Walker, tells the wonderful tale of how a child deals with the disabilities of her parents (Walker 1987).

The protagonist of the tale, Lou Ann Walker, narrates her experiences of how she acted as the ears and was the voice for her deaf parents.  While the family setting was warm, loving and typical of most happy families, the challenges that Lou Ann Walker and her parents had to face outside the house constantly challenged their character (Walker 1987).

The story revolves around the experiences of Lou Ann Walker who was born in the American Midwest in 1952 and recounts the experiences she has as one of the three daughters who were capable of hearing of Gale and Doris Jean Walker who were both deafened as infants due to illnesses.

The inspiring tale of how she served as the “medium” for interactions for her parents with the outside world.  “I’d seen plenty of families where there was more communication and less love, (Walker 1987)” as the author declares when she recalls how warm it was in their home despite the hearing disabilities of her parents.

The book is not above the frustrations that people have to deal with when they are outcast and misunderstood and Lou Ann Walker is able to show this through the lighthearted narration of just how crude and condescending the reactions of people were to the plight of her parents.

The manner of education that her parents got, while seemingly different for those who are unaware of the circumstances of the hearing impaired, showed just how difficult yet heartwarming it was.         The beauty is in the narration of the tale as it seeks to embed itself in the hearts of its readers and finds a way to bring the comfort and warmth of the author’s own family to the reader.


Walker, Lou Ann (1987) Loss for Words: The Story of Deafness in a Family Harper Perennial ISBN: 0060914254


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