'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 was deaf. She missed the punchlines and the jokes, avoided busy restaurants and raucous parties, and grew her hair long to cover hearing aids. 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 it means to live with and without sound, and in the process uncovers a hidden world of sense and connection. If sight gives us the world, then hearing - or our ability to listen - gives us each other. Warm, wry and honest, this is a story not just for the one in six of us with hearing loss, but for everyone who ever listened.Published in partnership with the Wellcome Collection.Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we think and feel about health. Inspired by the medical objects and curiosities collected by Henry Wellcome, it connects science, medicine, life and art. Wellcome Collection exhibitions, events and books explore a diverse range of subjects, including consciousness, forensic medicine, emotions, sexology, identity and death. Wellcome Collection is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive, funding over 14,000 researchers and projects in more than 70 countries.wellcomecollection.org
An astonishing personal journey from hearing to deafness and back again helps Bella Bathurst explore what sound, listening and silence mean to us
A book to remind us to treasure the gift of sound. -- Laura Freeman * Times * Fascinating ... Bathurst is a restless, curious writer, and she interweaves the story of her own experiences with imaginative research around hearing and sound ... After reading this book, I found myself listening in a richer and more interested way. -- Alice O'Keefe * Guardian * 'Extraordinary ... echoes long after you have turned the final page. * Mail on Sunday * 'Her writing draws on all the senses ... This is a moving and fascinating book, all about sound and what it means to be human. It has its share of sound and fury, and benefits from a journalist's ability to listen. Many people with hearing loss, and more without, would benefit from hearing its message. * Financial Times * Terrifying, absorbing and ultimately uplifting. It's a hymn to the faculty of hearing by someone who had it, lost it and then found it again, written with passion and intelligence and full of matters that I knew little about. It's a brave and important work -- Rupert Christiansen * Literary Review * An empathetic, sensitive look at how a physical loss can transform the way you understand the world and how you live in it * Sunday Express * Poignant ... I suspect [deafness] sharpened her writing. Bathurst's drive to communicate has been channelled into excellent non-fiction * Daily Telegraph * Bathurst is good on aural geography ... when her hearing is restored, it is returned to someone who is profoundly changed by the experience -- Marion Coutts * Guardian *
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.