Book Review: Mean Little Deaf Queer by Terry Galloway

Mean Little Deaf Queer: A Memoir: Galloway, Terry: 9780807072905: Books

Title: Mean Little Deaf Queer

Author: Terry Galloway

Genre: Memoirs

Number of Pages: 248

Rating: B+

Recommended?: Yes

There’s no doubt about it, Terry Galloway is a terrific writer. She writes so powerfully about her friends and loved ones that it makes the reader feel like they know them themselves. In this tragicomic memoir, Galloway writes about being a deaf gay woman from an unusual but loving family. One of my favorite things about this memoir is all the stories she told about her family.

They really did seem like an interesting bunch and they reminded me of all the crazy secondhand stories I have about members of my extended family. Galloway is a natural born storyteller and this book is at least as interesting as most works of fiction. I would have given this book a higher rating if not for some parts of it that really disturbed me.

There was one chapter where Galloway writes about luring a girl away from her friends when she was a kid so a group of boys could assault her. Even though I understand that she was trying to fit in with these guys and was somehow naively ‘impressed’ by their violent behavior, that scene left a bad taste in my mouth for a long time. I kept thinking about that poor girl and whether she was still traumatized by that event.

I often questioned Galloway’s judgement, like how many times she’s cheated on her girlfriends. She seemed pretty casual about it and I wondered how she got anyone to stay with her. It was weird because the author had a lot of really good qualities but she also had things I couldn’t stand about her. I’m glad she was honest about some of her less appealing qualities and I think that speaks well of her as a writer but at the same time it took away from the book for me.

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