Books: Through the Sound Barrier

WORDS FOR A DEAF DAUGHTER by Paul West. 188 pages. Harper & Row. $5.95.

The beauty of Words for a Deaf Daughter is the truth of its form. A British-born critic, teacher and novelist, Paul West writes directly and uncondescendingly to his almost totally deaf, eight-year-old daughter Mandy in the hope that she will one day be able to receive and understand his lavish trust of words. His hope is supported by the progress she has made in reading, writing and expanding her spoken vocabulary to nearly 200 words.

The aural world reaches Mandy only...

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