"I felt really guilty that I could hear and my parents couldn’t."
"I can sign too. It’s my language. The whole family speaks the same language. – Why can’t I go to the same school as my brothers?"
A Sea of Stories is about hearing children of deaf parents and about how these children built their identities during the latter part of the 20th century.
There were no professional interpreters and the children had to act as their parents’ ears and voice as well as having to relate things that they did not yet even understand themselves. Hearing became a burden since some messages that reached the children’s ears were ones in which their parents were belittled as well as wondered at because of being different.
How are the children able to build their identities when acting as messengers between two mutually strange and sometimes hostile cultures? What is the child’s linguistic identity like? And why have Sign Language speakers not always welcomed hearing children of deaf parents as members of their reference group either?