Shouting Won't Help

Why I--And 50 Million Other Americans--Can't Hear You

By Katherine Bouton
(Sarah Crichton Books, Hardcover, 9780374263041, 276pp.)

Publication Date: February 19, 2013

List Price: $26.00*
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For twenty-two years, Katherine Bouton had a secret that grew harder to keep every day. An editor at The New York Times, at daily editorial meetings she couldn’t hear what her colleagues were saying. She had gone profoundly deaf in her left ear; her right was getting worse. As she once put it, she was “the kind of person who might have used an ear trumpet in the nineteenth century.”

Audiologists agree that we’re experiencing a national epidemic of hearing impairment. At present, 50 million Americans suffer some degree of hearing loss—17 percent of the population. And hearing loss is not exclusively a product of growing old. The usual onset is between the ages of nineteen and forty-four, and in many cases the cause is unknown.

Shouting Wont Help is a deftly written, deeply felt look at a widespread and misunderstood phenomenon. In the style of Jerome Groopman and Atul Gawande, and using her experience as a guide, Bouton examines the problem personally, psychologically, and physiologically. She speaks with doctors, audiologists, and neurobiologists, and with a variety of people afflicted with midlife hearing loss, braiding their stories with her own to illuminate the startling effects of the condition.

The result is a surprisingly engaging account of what it’s like to live with an invisible disability—and a robust prescription for our nation’s increasing problem with deafness.

A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013

About the Author
Katherine Bouton is a former senior editor at "The New York Times", where she worked for the magazine, the "Book Review", and the daily Books section. Her nonfiction has appeared in "The New Yorker", "The New York Times Magazine", and many other magazines and reviews. She is currently a regular reviewer and contributor to "Science Times". She is the author of the book "Shouting Won't Help: Why I--and 50 Million Other Americans--Can't Hear You". She lives in New York City with her husband, Daniel Menaker. They have two grown children.

Friday, Feb 15, 2013

After going deaf at the age of 30, writer Katherine Bouton's entire life changed. In her new book, "Shouting Won't Help," Bouton shares how she came to terms with hearing loss, and why more attention needs to be paid to a condition that affects nearly 50 million Americans. More at

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