Day 8: Phoebe Tay


Welcome to Day 8 of the totally unofficial EWF Book Club.

One week down, four weeks to go.

And who knows, maybe there’s a future Miles Franklin winner amongst the people we feature this this week…


Today we discuss Phoebe Tay’s The deaf writer: Does it exist?

I had no idea. Absolutely no idea.

But thanks to Phoebe, I’ve gained a little insights into the experience of writers who happen to be deaf – and some things I would have never considered, let alone expected.

Take Auslan for example. My impression was always that it was a simple 1:1 representation of English. ‘This word’ is ‘this’. ‘That letter’ is ‘that’. But then Phoebe pointed out…

“Auslan has a completely different grammatical form and structure to English – whilst English is a linear language, Auslan is a spatial one.”

And that leads to the challenge involving interpretation and editors – does ‘hearing people’ refer to a verb (as I would have expected) or a label about people who are not deaf? Phoebe was a great presenter at the EWF13 Book launch (as she blogged later, she felt unwell on the night – but concealed it well) and in a short time she’s taught me a lot.

What did you get out of  The deaf writer? Please – hit the comments below!

Come back at midday tomorrow and we’ll feature…


For an easy no-spam reminder, just scroll ‘up and to the right’ and subscribe via email or RSS. Or follow me on Twitter. I’ll be tweeting the latest post each day with the hashtag #EWFbookclub.

Would you like some more people to talk to?   Help spread the word!

What do YOU know about writers who are deaf? Phoebe Tay gives great insights in #EWFbookclub #EWF13 <click to tweet this>

If you’re not a Twitter user, a quick link to this post on your Facebook, blog or similar would be appreciated.

Thanks for joining the totally unofficial EWF book group – see you tomorrow!


About Gabe McGrath

Freelance writer, radio creative, retro gamer and a dad. Gabe's writing has appeared in , My Child, Retro Gamer, , & more. Editor in Chief of JustOneMoreGame
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One Response to Day 8: Phoebe Tay

  1. beefyisfeebz says:

    Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

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