The Hearing Test: A Novel

The Hearing Test: A Novel cover

The Hearing Test: A Novel

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A young woman reorients her relationship to the world in the wake of sudden deafness in this mesmerizing debut novel for readers of Rachel Cusk, Clarice Lispector, and Fleur Jaeggy

When the narrator of The Hearing Test, an artist in her late twenties, awakens one morning to a deep drone in her right ear, she is diagnosed with Sudden Deafness, but is offered no explanation for its cause. As the specter of total deafness looms, she keeps a record of her year—a score of estrangement and enchantment, of luck and loneliness, of the chance occurrences to which she becomes attuned—while living alone in a New York City studio apartment with her dog.

Through a series of fleeting and often humorous encounters—with neighbors, an ex-lover, doctors, strangers, family members, faraway friends, and with the lives and works of artists, filmmakers, musicians, and philosophers—making meaning  becomes a form of consolation and curiosity, a form of survival. 

At once a rumination on silence and a novel on seeing, The Hearing Test is a work of vitalizing intellect and playfulness which marks the arrival of a major new literary writer with a rare command of form, compression, and intent.

Eliza Barry Callahan is a writer, filmmaker, and musician from New York, NY. Her work has appeared in BOMB, frieze, The Drift and elsewhere. She co-wrote the short film BUST which premiered at Sundance in 2024. She is a New York Foundation for The Arts Fellow and she teaches at Columbia University. The Hearing Test is her first novel.

ISBN: 9781646222131

ISBN-10: 9781646222131

Publisher: Catapult

Publication Date: 03/05/2024 - 12:00am

On Sale: 03/05/2024 - 12:00am

Pages: 176

Language: English


Fiction / Women

Fiction / Disabilities & Special Needs

Fiction / Literary