ABOUT THIS BOOK
PUBLICATION DATE: April 8, 2021
The Invention of Miracles
By Katie Booth
A revelatory revisionist biography of Alexander Graham Bell ― renowned inventor of the telephone.
When Alexander Graham Bell first unveiled his telephone to the world, it was considered miraculous. But few people know that it was inspired by another supposed miracle: his work teaching the deaf to speak. The son of one deaf woman and husband to another, he was motivated by a desire to empower deaf people by integrating them into the hearing world, but he ended up becoming their most powerful enemy, waging a war against sign language and deaf culture that still rages today.
The Invention of Miracles tells the dual stories of Bell’s remarkable, world-changing invention and his dangerous ethnocide of deaf culture and language. It also charts the rise of deaf activism and tells the triumphant tale of a community reclaiming a once-forbidden language.
Katie Booth has researched this story for over a decade, poring over Bell’s papers, Library of Congress archives, and the records of deaf schools around America. Witnessing the damaging impact of Bell’s legacy on her deaf family set her on a path that upturned everything she thought she knew about language, power, deafness, and technology.
Katie Booth teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Her work has appeared in The Believer, Aeon, Catapult, and Harper’s Magazine, and has been highlighted on Longreads and Longform; ‘The Sign for This’ was a notable essay in the 2016 edition of Best American Essays. Booth received a number of prestigious fellowships to support the writing of The Invention of Miracles, including from the Library of Congress and the Massachusetts Historical Society. She was raised in a mixed hearing/deaf family.
NEVER MISS AN ISSUE!
LATEST ISSUE: From the Shadows
Welcome to Cooper
Break in Case of Silence: New Writing Scotland
The Puffin Portal: An Interview with Vashti Hardy
Slaves and Highlanders
Terms of Restitution: An Interview with Denzil Meyrick
Look Where You Are Going, Not Where You Have Been
Sins of the Father: Debut Crime Fiction with Sharon Bairden
Life is Elsewhere, Burn Your Flags
Death of a Selkie
Some Rise by Sin
Dress for Death
ALSO ON BOOKS FROM SCOTLAND
Leela Soma is a Scottish-based writer who was born in Madras (former name for Chennai) in India, and now lives in Glasgow. She came to Glasgow in 1969 with her husband. She worked, until her retirement, as a teacher of Modern Studies. During this time …